Government says no more help to hospitality sector

Thousands of New Zealanders have lost their jobs with the closure of many hospitality businesses, and many more will join them if the Government doesn’t provided targeted support, National’s Economic Development and Small Business spokesperson Todd McClay says.

According to the restaurant sector 1000 hospitality businesses have been forced to close their doors for good since the start of the pandemic, with about 13,000 jobs lost as a result. They have said they expect these numbers to be exceeded in the next three months.

Mr McClay says these are not just numbers or statistics.

“Every business and every job that is lost is someone’s livelihood. These are Kiwis now struggling to support their families and pay their bills.

“These figures will come as no surprise to New Zealanders around the country who’ve watched their favourite bars, clubs and restaurants struggle as Covid restrictions continue to bite and their friends and families cannot pay their bills.

“National MPs have heard from hospitality operators who have put their family homes on the line in a desperate attempt to save their business.

“Two weeks ago the hospitality sector met with the Finance Minister with a desperate plea, ‘help us survive’. Two weeks later they have heard nothing and today the Minister said there is no more help coming.

“This proposal could be the lifeline the struggling hospitality sector needs. The Government must take it seriously and come to the table with additional support.

“The Government’s management of the Delta outbreak has created significant uncertainty within the sector. As bills continue to pile up many more businesses will go to the wall. Without additional targeted support, the only option left for them is closure.”