Business owners angry over Robertson’s comments

Small business owners in the retail sector deserve answers from the Deputy Prime Minister after he declared that throughout the whole pandemic “less than a handful of cases” were transmitted in retail settings, National’s Small Business spokesperson Todd McClay says.

“Minister Robertson’s comments were in reference to Auckland moving to Level 3 Step 2 next week which will allow certain retail businesses to open. However, it does beg the question, if retail settings are such low-risk environments why not allow businesses to open today, or last week, or a month ago?

“Businesses are on their knees. Many have already collapsed. How many businesses could have scraped through if allowed to trade from last week or earlier?

“A large part of the distress business owners are feeling comes from the uncertainty of when their nightmare will be over. The inconsistencies in the Government’s policies and comments are salt in their wounds.

“Labour are making up policy on the fly and this means they aren’t checking that it is consistent with what is already in play or what has been said. Logic cannot be found in many of the parameters the Government has used for their restrictions.

“Grant Robertson owes businesses an explanation as to why he has watched their life’s work go down the drain while knowing that throughout the pandemic few cases can be attributed to their environment. When did he realise retail was safe? Why did he not act sooner?

“A week is a long time in politics, but it is even longer when you’re borrowing against your house to keep your business afloat and the Government has extended your lockdown for another week.”