Increase to Resurgence Support Payment welcome, but why the delay?

The business support package announced today by the Minister of Finance comes too late for many businesses, says National’s Shadow Treasurer Andrew Bayly.

“We have seen no immediate action to give cash to struggling businesses now. The increase the Resurgence Support Payment is welcome, but will come too late for many businesses, as they have to wait another three weeks to access this. This boost to the Support Payment should happen immediately, not after 87 days of lockdown. 

“National’s approach is to stop businesses falling over now, not in three weeks’ time. Extra cash is going to be of no use to a businesses that has failed. The lack of urgency from the Minister is disappointing.

“There has also been no targeted support for sectors struggling most, such as the tourism, accommodation and events sectors. When Auckland struggles, operations in these sectors around the country suffer. The Government has forgotten about these businesses once again.

“Earlier this week, we announced our ‘Back in Business’ plan to immediately help businesses and prepare our economy for reopening. We strongly urged the Minister of Finance to pick up our plan, which was strongly supported by business leaders around the country.

“We proposed allowing Auckland businesses to access the Wage Subsidy at Level 2 and, while the Minister of Finance announced a Transition Grant for Auckland when it moves to the convoluted traffic light system, he shied away from actually giving any details on what this would look like. Businesses need clarity and certainty now.

“We do thank the Minister for picking up National’s idea of a mental health support fund for businesses, something we have been advocating for in the past few months.

“Aucklanders have had it tough in what is the longest lockdown in this pandemic. More than one million Aucklanders have gone to get the vaccine, yet remain barred from accessing bars and restaurants, or visiting friends and family.

“National proposed that with a rate of 85 per cent double vaccination and all district health boards at 80 per cent, businesses and people should be able to get back to normality”.