Government fiddles with tenancy measures while small businesses burn

Today’s announcement by the Minister of Justice shows the Government is going the wrong way entirely when assisting businesses hurt by the recent Covid lockdown, says National’s Shadow Treasurer Andrew Bayly.

“Their proposal to retroactively insert a clause into every commercial lease to require that tenants need only pay a ‘fair proportion’ of rent when they have been unable to conduct business under Covid restrictions is a massive overreach.

“The Government should not be interfering with private contracts between landlords and tenants. Besides, it doesn’t actually solve the issue being faced – that of cashflow.

“The last thing businesses need right now – especially those that are struggling to keep afloat due to the current alert levels – is the Government inserting complicated clauses into their commercial leases. They simply need some short-term financial support to see them through the lockdown.

“Businesses are on their knees financially. All they are asking for is a tiny slice of the Government’s multi-billion-dollar fiscal envelope that is meant to be spent on the response to Covid. Instead, we are seeing it being squandered on so many things that have little relevance to response and recovery.

“I am urging the Government to pick up the National Party’s proposal that would actually meet the needs of small businesses struggling to pay their rent, even with the Resurgence Support Payments.”

You can find details of Mr Bayly's Rental Support Package here.