Paul Goldsmith calls for extension of the wage subsidy in aid of 'directly effected businesses'

coronavirus 22/04/2020

Paul Goldsmith joins Peter Williams to discuss the true impact in which this lockdown is having on small businesses and how the Government's one size fits all approach is ineffective.

Goldsmith begins by sharing his concerns on the catastrophic impact that the lockdown is causing, and will continue to have for the foreseeable future:

"We're very worried about the impact on small businesses."

"The point of all this is so that all New Zealanders can benefit from the public health outcome."

There is a sense that a particular part of the society, particularly the small businesses, is taking the biggest economic hit.

"For people who are in business, and have had zero revenue for seven weeks, which is the best-case scenario for the retail area, that can be totally devastating."

We're going to have to stump up with some more support for that particular group because it's becoming untenable.

As for the type of additional support Goldsmith is alluding to, whether that be cash injections or loans, he clarifies:

"[Cash injections] is one option, that's what Australia has done."

The other would be to signal an extension of the wage subsidy for directly affected businesses.

"People are rightly a bit little nervous that we've spent $10 billion on the wage subsidy and it's extending far and wide."

"You can understand that in the heat of the battle at the start they were pretty broad."

"If there were to be a second round, you can be more targeted and more specific."

Be focussed on those industries and sectors that are going to be substantially hit for longer.

Goldsmith continues, disagreeing with Ardern's response to an extension during Monday's COVID-19 press conference.

"You heard the Prime Minister ruling it out on Monday saying 'well look, they've got 12-weeks and might only be closed for eight weeks, what's the problem?' sort of thing."

But you don't suddenly go back to 100% revenue on the day you reopen after eight weeks of closure.

For the full interview, listen to the audio above.