First, I want to thank you for everything you are doing, and have done, to help stop the spread of COVID-19.
Kiwis have done a great job self-isolating and social distancing and you can be proud that your efforts to stay home and save lives have done just that.
But with 1,000 people a day joining the dole queue, and projections from Treasury of up to 300,000 new applications for the benefit this year, we need to turn our attention to saving jobs. We need to get New Zealand working again.
Those numbers are not just statistics to me, they represent real people, families and communities who have bills and mortgages to pay and they need every bit of support we can muster to get them back on their feet again.
Yesterday, in a speech to BusinessNZ, I talked about some of the more immediate steps and new policy we would implement to save as many jobs and businesses as we can, and I laid out some key elements of our economic focus going forward.
Click here to watch my speech <[link removed]>
The first policy is a GST cash refund for small and medium sized businesses that can demonstrate that they have experienced a revenue drop of more than 50 per cent across two successive months because of the lockdown rules.
We estimate this could benefit up to 160,000 businesses and save countless jobs. It is more generous than the government scheme, but it is also more targeted.
The second is a temporarily lifting of the threshold to expense new capital investment for firms. The Government lifted the threshold from $500 to $5000 as part of its Covid response. We’d go much further and lift it to $150,000 for two years.
National understands the key to growing the economy is to encourage and incentivise business investment. You can read more of both policies here. <[link removed]>
I want New Zealand to focus more on what we can do as a country, rather than what we can’t do.
Our families, our businesses, and our wider workforce needs certainty in how we move forward. While COVID-19 has changed much in our world, there are a few core fundamentals that remain the same.
A strong and thriving economy is what helps create the jobs, opportunity and economic growth that will lift our country out of hardship.
Employing over 600,000 Kiwis, small and medium sized businesses are the backbone of our economy. They were before COVID-19 arrived on our shores, and they will be once again after COVID-19 is stamped out.
National’s focus is clear. We want to get New Zealand working again.
The curve of infection is flattened, but we must not flatten the economy.
NZ National Party - 41 Pipitea St, Wellington 6011, New Zealand
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