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Budget funding for New Zealand’s battered tourism industry is welcome but it’s nowhere near enough and the Government still lacks a clear plan to save jobs, National’s Tourism spokesperson Todd McClay says. 

“Yesterday the Government announced a $400 million tourism fund which will do some good but it lacks detail on how the initiatives under it will work and no outline of how it will actually save jobs.

“Instead, we have a promise of a marketing campaign, yet more working groups, and the promise of more announcements in the future.

“Crucially, there is no clear plan on a path forward for the industry. What we need is a timeline and under what condition the Trans-Tasman border might open.

“This will be a bitter pill to swallow for an industry which has already sacrificed their livelihoods to go into lockdown for the past eight weeks.

“While we welcome the necessary extension of the wage subsidy, what tourism businesses actually need is a direct cash injection to help with rent, tax, insurance and other business costs.

“This is what tourism bosses have been telling us for weeks and weeks. It is simply not good enough that this hasn’t been addressed in the Budget.

“Tourism supports 400,000 jobs and last year contributed more than $40 billion to the New Zealand economy. Now, they are undoubtedly paying the heaviest price for our lockdown yet are getting very little help from the Government.

“To help reduce harm and save jobs, National would put in place an $8 billion business support package including a GST cash back scheme which would provide up to $100,000 to the businesses most affected to help cover mounting costs.

“Tourism businesses work hard to create jobs, energise regions across New Zealand and grow the economy in good times.

“National backs our tourism sector to get back to growth.”

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