Robertson’s head-in-the-sand approach to struggling businesses a disgrace

The Minister of Finance and his Government remain clueless about the plight of businesses in Auckland grappling with the ever-lengthening lockdown, says National’s Shadow Treasurer Andrew Bayly.

“Almost 10,000 businesses closed in August and, despite what Grant Robertson tried to claim today, this is definitely not on par with pre-Covid times.

“The Minister has tried to use the number of formal liquidations to mask the reality of the damaged being caused by this never-ending lockdown, failing to realise that most businesses that close for good don’t go through a formal liquidation.

“If the Minister is receiving any calls and emails from Auckland businesses desperately asking for help, as I have all too frequently, then he is squarely not listening to them. He has upped the Resurgence Support Payment but only made the increased payment available for application from November 12.

“How many more businesses is he willing to see shut down in the two weeks until that date?

“Businesses need cash now. Businesses are what keep our nation going.

“If the Minister had a heart he would know that doing everything he can to keep them afloat is the best thing for the entire country.

“It makes a damn-sight more sense than spending $710 million on the scandalous Three Waters asset grab, untold millions on the ridiculous light rail project in Auckland, $51 million on consultants for the cancelled cycle bridge and $486 million on restructuring the health system in the middle of a pandemic.

“Stop the wasteful spending, Grant. Inject money into the lifeblood of the economy – the crucial businesses that drive this country forward.”