LATEST FROM THE BEEHIVE
Uh, oh. More urgency is afoot in the law-making department.
But the latest one is not as egregious as the urgency given to the passage of legislation to facilitate the introduction of Maori wards in local government.
Legislation will be introduced under urgency today to set up a new Resurgence Support Payment for businesses affected by any resurgence of COVID-19.
There has been a resurgence of COVID-19. There no longer is an issue around the under-representation of Maori on local authorities (although the facts are scandalously ignored by leftie MPs who parrot canards to the contrary).
The Resurgence Support Payment for businesses scheme was announced in December.
The government aims to reduce the time over which a revenue drop is assessed from 14 days to seven.
Among other new announcements from the Beehive:
- Trade and Export Growth Minister Damien O’Connor has congratulated Nigeria’s Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala on her “ground-breaking” selection as the next Director General of the World Trade Organisation.
- From 1 April, people getting a benefit will be able to earn more through work before their benefit payments are affected. Around 82,900 low-income people and families will be better off by $18 a week on average.
- The first batch of COVID-19 vaccine – around 60,000 doses – arrived as airfreight at Auckland International Airport yesterday.
With regard to the legislation to be given urgency, Robertson explained:
“We acknowledge the concerns of the business community about Alert Level rises and have made this change as we want to get money out the door quickly to affected businesses.”
Firms that experience a 30 per cent drop in revenue over a seven-day period will be eligible. The payment would include a core per business rate of $1500 plus $400 per employee up to a total of 50 FTEs ($21,500).
This payment recognises that some businesses face one-off costs or impacts to cashflow when the government stepped up an Alert Level to follow public health advice. The payment is structured to provide most support to smaller firms who are most likely to face cashflow issues but will be available to all businesses and sole traders.
“A decision on whether this support will come into effect will be made if there is an extension to the seventy-two hour increase in alert levels announced on Sunday night. If it does come into effect it will cover the initial 72 hour Alert Level rise as well,” Grant Robertson said.
The Government has a package of support available, in addition to this payment, including:
- A new ShortTerm Absence Payment to cover eligible workers needing to stay at home while awaiting a COVID19 test result. This is a one-off payment of $350 to employers to pay workers who need to stay home while awaiting a test or while someone who is their dependent is doing so, in accordance with public health advice. Further information about this payment is available on the MSD website.
- The Leave Support Scheme helps businesses to help pay workers (including selfemployed) told to self-isolate because of COVID-19. It’s paid as a lump sum and covers two weeks per eligible employee at the rates of $585.80 for each employee working 20 hours or more a week and $350 for each employee working less than 20 hours a week. Information is available here.
- The Wage Subsidy Scheme will also be available nationally when there’s a regional or national move to Alert Levels three and four for a period of seven days. The support will be provided in two weekly payments for the duration of the alert level period, rounded to the nearest fortnight. The Wage Subsidy Scheme has been very effective in keeping people in work so far with more than $14 billion paid out to protect 1.8 million jobs.
Other support includes the enhanced loan products Business Finance Guarantee Scheme, which is available to June 2021 and Small Business Cashflow Scheme.
More information can be found on the COVID-19 website: https://covid19.govt.nz/
And if you can’t get the money you need from those sources, you can always shut up shop as a business and turn to the art of propaganda. Creative NZ is a generous funder, as the Taxpayers Union pointed out today after a play, named “Transmission”, received a $57,000 grant. According to co-director Miranda Harcourt,
“It is a verbatim stage-show drawn from our interviews with NZ Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, Finance Minister Grant Robertson & leading epidemiologist Michael Baker around last year’s decision to lock down NZ in response to Covid-19 & its targeted elimination. It is a behind the scenes glimpse into how these remarkable people were thinking and feeling at the time. And into the life events that have shaped them as leaders.”
Taxpayers Union spokesman Louis Houlbrooke says our playwrights are welcome to produce obsequious propaganda, but taxpayers shouldn’t be forced to fund it.
He reckons this reeks of a state-supported cult of personality that you’d expect in Kazakhstan or North Korea, not an egalitarian society like New Zealand.
He also notes that Creative NZ has previously handed out grants to commission poems on Newsroom attacking centre-right politicians, and opinion pieces on soft-socialist blogsite The Spinoff agitating for the Government’s Māori wards legislation. He is sure we have yet to see Creative NZ fund a single project that doesn’t fit “its politically correct, Wellington-centric, left-wing world view.”
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