‘There’s no Plan B’

Monday June 22, 2020 Written by Published in Economy
Taskforce chairman Fletcher Melvin. Taskforce chairman Fletcher Melvin.

Business leaders are concerned there’s no wage subsidy budgeted beyond September – all hopes are pinned on the return of Kiwi tourists. 

The Private Sector Taskforce welcomes the “generous” support for business in the Government’s Budget, but is worried about what happens when the money runs out in September.

Already, the Government confirms it has taken out two new loans to fund the Economic Response Plan and provide liquidity for operating expenditures.

Taskforce chairman Fletcher Melvin the forecast return of tourists – 4000 in the next three months, 18,400 by Christmas – seemed “a bit optimistic”.

He said government was continuing to increase the public sector payroll, but subsidies to keep private sector workers in jobs would run out in three months.

He questioned: “Are there any plans to decrease government expenditure on the public sector and payroll? That’s the elephant in the room.”

Finance Minister Mark Brown has budgeted $71.4 million for the compensation of government personnel – a figure projected to continue increasing over subsequent years, despite deferring $6 million in pay rises promised to teachers, nurses and Pa Enua workers.

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