The Minister of Finance should think carefully before resorting to helicopter money, National’s Finance spokesperson Paul Goldsmith said today.  

“Grant Robertson told media this morning that ‘helicopter’ cash for Kiwis is an option to help our economy recover from the Covid-19 crisis.

“Before he tosses the bundles of cash from the chopper, he needs to acknowledge the immediate focus right now should be on business relief.

“He should focus on the thousands of small to medium sized businesses that are paying a disproportionately heavy price for the extension of the lockdown. Reducing the number of business collapses is the best way to reduce the number of job losses and livelihoods lost.  

“It’s important we get out of these highly restrictive lock down circumstances as soon as possible. Level three is still hugely restrictive. The reality is many businesses won’t be able to start operating for another three weeks, minimum.

“Stimulus will be important, but only once we’re out of this and businesses are allowed to start operating at full capacity. Until then, universal cash handouts will simply result in more Government debt for very little economic gain.

“Down the line, putting more money in people’s pockets through some form of tax credit or tax rebate is certainly worth considering. As is tax relief to encourage businesses to invest in rebuilding their businesses.”

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