Date posted: 24/03/2020

Speed of NZ Government’s business support follow up praised

Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand (CA ANZ) today welcomed the speedy follow up to the Government’s COVID-19 Economic Response Package, particularly expanding the wage subsidy to all businesses.

“Since the subsidy was announced less than a week ago, Chartered Accountants around the country have been helping businesses apply for the subsidy so they can keep workers on their payrolls,” said Peter Vial, New Zealand Country Head for CA ANZ.

“It was a great and much needed initiative, but there was a gap with the non eligibility of large businesses, who in many centres are the major employers.

“Today’s move will increase certainty for all businesses,” Vial said.

The Government says all employers affected by COVID-19 will be able to apply for the existing subsidy to support the wages of all of their workers. The subsidy is now expected to cost $9.3 billion, up from $5.1 billion.

“Anecdotally it seems that red tape has not been getting in the way of employers accessing the subsidy.

“Businesses are clearly concerned about their staff and are acting with integrity in passing the subsidies on.”

Vial said CA ANZ also welcomed agreement in principle by the Government, Reserve Bank and retail banks to provide significant temporary support for mortgage holders and a business finance guarantee scheme. Freezing all rent increases was also entirely appropriate, he said.

“As the Government is saying, these moves are entirely appropriate considering the crisis New Zealanders now face.

“The pain for the country’s businesses will be extreme for the next few months, but Government support gives hope that the majority of our businesses will survive COVID-19 and thus have the opportunity to thrive once again.

“As has been shown, businesses want to do the right thing.”