More than a third of businesses plan to lay off staff

More than a third of businesses plan to lay off staff over the next three months, National’s Finance spokesperson Paul Goldsmith said today.

Mr Goldsmith was commenting on today’s NZIER Quarterly Survey of Business Opinion, which shows a collapse in business confidence to levels not seen since the worst of the Global Financial Crisis.

“NZIER’s survey of business opinion shows business activity is at its lowest level since 2009. Critically, it shows more than a third of businesses are expecting to lay off staff between now and the end of September.

“To restore business confidence, the Government needs to demonstrate it has a plan beyond its current approach of undisciplined, debt-fuelled spending on a colossal scale, while waiting passively for a vaccine.

“Labour has already signalled its approach in the coming months will be to spend whatever is left of the $50 billion Covid-19 fund, unconstrained.

“That is not a plan. National understands it is the quality of Government spending that matters, not the quantity. We need a Government that invests in high-quality infrastructure that generates long-term economic growth and productivity gains.

“While Labour emphasises state-funded programmes to buy jobs, this isn’t sustainable.

“They have borrowed over $12 billion dollars for the wage subsidy scheme, but haven’t got a plan for recovery. There won’t be jobs at the end of it.

“National will place the private sector centre-stage in reviving our economy. That requires less tax not more, greater regulatory restraint and a more pragmatic approach to foreign direct investment.

“We have already announced the instant write-off of up to $150,000 for new capital investments, to encourage business investment and jobs, and our $10,000 JobStart scheme.

“Only National has the competence, experience and the ideas to support businesses and save jobs.”