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Government must move urgently on COVID-19 relief

The Government must move urgently on its targeted wage subsidies and other initiatives it’s working on for businesses hurt by COVID-19, says Business Central Chief Executive John Milford. 

Issue date

"We welcome yesterday’s announcement but the Government must move with urgency. 

"Businesses, particularly small businesses across the hospitality, hotel, tourism, and retail sectors, and those that export primary produce, are feeling the pinch right now, and the Government must do what it can to ensure they can stay in business and keep staff on. 

"New Zealand has one of the highest rates of tax across the OECD and the Government should use its spending to assist affected businesses and their employees. 

"Targeted tax help, such as deferred payments on provisional tax and GST, and government paying its bills sooner, would be a great start, but it’s also not just about the size of the spend, it’s about the timing. 

"Businesses are hurting now and it’s likely to get worse before it gets better. 

"We’re pleased to see the banks are looking at reducing loan repayments and making some business financing arrangements interest-only, but like the Government’s plans, these need to happen before things get any worse." 

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