Time for Govt to front on wage subsidy failures

The fact 37,000 businesses are still awaiting their first wage subsidy payment demonstrates the Government’s contempt for the plight of many New Zealanders fighting for their jobs, National’s Social Development and Employment spokesperson Louise Upston says.

“On September 8 I wrote to Finance Minister Grant Robertson and Social Development Minister Carmel Sepuloni asking them to extend the deadline for the first wage subsidy round when all of New Zealand was in lockdown. Many businesses encountered problems with the application process through no fault of their own.

“More than two weeks later neither Ministers are yet to respond my letter on behalf of thousands of businesses.

“Since the Delta outbreak more than 8000 Kiwis have moved onto the Jobseeker benefit. Thousands more are fighting for the survival of their jobs and businesses.

“The Government was quick to take credit for the wage subsidy saving thousands of businesses last year, however when problems have arisen this time round the Government has been silent.

“Labour has attempted to cast its botch ups as impacting just a small proportion of businesses, but the problem is far larger. About 85,100 staff could be attached to wage subsidy applicants still awaiting payments from the first round.

“The Government’s botch up has left many people in a stressful and uncertain situation.

“It’s past time the Government showed some leadership and reassured Kiwis they won’t lose their job due to its own botch ups.”