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Covid-19 Gov’t Support; Live updates from 2pm

Written By: - Date published: 2:01 pm, March 17th, 2020 - 156 comments
Categories: class war, Economy, health and safety, welfare, workers' rights - Tags: ,

The coalition Government is going to commit to a 12 billion dollar support package. The details will come through from 2pm and will be live streamed at TVNZ here. Radio NZ’s coverage is here.

Update: The first details are through, via Radio NZ.

  • Beneficiaries and superannuitants will also get a cash bonus with a permanent increase to main benefit rates and a one-off doubling of the Winter Energy Payment this year.
  • The biggest boost is $5.1 billion towards wage subsidies for affected businesses in all sectors and regions, which kicks in today.
  • Beneficiaries will also get an immediate and permanent increase of $25 a week in the hand, and the Winter Energy Payment, which beneficiaries and superannuants receive, will be doubled this year.

Together that will cost $2.8 billion while another $2.8b is being invested in business tax changes to free up cashflow.

That will include a provisional tax threshold life, the reinstatement of building depreciation and writing off interest on the late payment of tax.

Finance Minister Grant Robertson said this package is about “cashflow and confidence” and is only the beginning of the support that will be rolled out to help New Zealanders through this crisis and to recover from it.

“We will fight this virus. We will cushion the blow for businesses and workers. We will position for recovery. We have been and we will be swift, decisive and compassionate.”

Update: The package represents 4 percent of GDP and is, according to Minister Robertson “more than the total of all three Budgets’ new operating spending in this term of Government put together.”

Robertson said latest Treasury forecasts show New Zealand’s fiscals will be impacted and there will be higher debt, deficits and unemployment. “This is the rainy day that we have been planning for,” he said.

Update:

  • Wage subsidies will be available for businesses in all parts of the country that can show they’ve had a 30 percent decline in revenue for any month between January and June 2020 compared to the year before.
  • For eligible businesses, employers will be paid $585.50 per week for full-time staff, and $350 for part-time staff.
  • Payments will be capped at $150,000 per business and will be paid in one lump sum for up to 12 weeks.
  • An increase of $25 a week for all main benefits starts on 1 April and the Ministry of Social Development estimates about 350,000 low-income families will benefit.

A support package estimated to cost $126 million will be made available for those people unable to work because they’re either in quarantine, sick from Covid-19, or caring for family in either of those situations.

These payments will be the same as the wage subsidy amounts but are only available for eight weeks and employers will be expected to meet all of their requirements in terms of sick leave.

An increase of $25 a week for all main benefits starts on 1 April and the Ministry of Social Development estimates about 350,000 low-income families will benefit.

Update:

  • A dedicated $500 million fund for health has been announced. This includes extra intensive care capacity and equipment for hospitals, support for GPs and primary care and improving video conferencing and e-consultations.
  • Healthline will also receive a $20 million boost for more staff.

Health Minister David Clark said so far the medical response has been world-leading. “We know we will see more cases of Covid-19 arrive here. So we must plan and prepare for that reality,” he said.

Update: Some quick responses from the business sector, who seem very supportive.

Employers and Manufacturers Association CEO Brett O’Riley said it was pleasing to see the government was trying to encourage spending.

“On the face of it, with limited time to digest it, it looks pretty comprehensive.”
 
O’Riley also said the biggest issue the EMA had been dealing with was leave.
 
“One of the things we had already seen is businesses responding as a community … and I think with the clarity we have got today … it will maximise our ability to get through this as a recession rather than a depression.”
 
Economist Shamubeel Equab call the package “absolutely extraordinary” and “fantastic”.
 
He said a recession was definitely going to happen, though he said package would go a long way towards preserving jobs and staving off business failures.
 
Final Update:
 
Thanks for reading the post and updates. Last word to the PM:
 
Be strong, be kind, we will be ok”

 

156 comments on “Covid-19 Gov’t Support; Live updates from 2pm ”

  1. lprent 1

    TRP: Hopefully bumping this to the top of the day won't have lost any edits.

  2. Sabine 2

    this is pathetic.

    • mickysavage 2.1

      Why? Huge increase to benefits as well as the winter payment. Wage subsidies to keep people in jobs. Redeployment and health budgets. What is there not to like?

      • Sabine 2.1.1

        huge increase? lol………25+ plus 10.44$ (3%) is 35.44 before tax. So a beneficiary that has had 20 to live after paying rent now has 55.44 to live after tax, but as explained below other benfits may suffer or get cancelled out by that mediocre increase.

        But then its poor people, and considering your comment you seem to not have any idea what poor in NZ actually means.

        secondly, Wage subsidies keep people in jobs?

        Good fucking grief, Mickey I expect better from you. Because if I loose my business because i can't meet lease, utilities, products because i don't have customers, etc then i don't need staff.

        But i am pleased to know that you can get free money form the govenrment to keep your people in a job. Well done. The same counts for all the other big hotels, tourism operations etc etc.

        Frankly the government could have set unemployment benefits at a decent level and simply let people apply online and send the cheque without fucking the unemployed about. At least the money would have gone directly to the poeple.

        Nothing, absolutly nothing in this budget for self employed or micro businesses. Nothing. No help with absolutly fucking anything. Oh, but if we can't pay our taxes because we can't do business then your party is waiving the late payment fees. What vultures they are.

        This is simply pathetic, and as of now i will never, ever in my life again give money to labour, give time to labour, or give any of these wankers a vote.

        This money is bailing out those that already don't need it. And hte rest of us small mom and pop businesses we can just take a few month worth of lease that we can't pay on the credit card or declare bankruptcy because your usless mates in the labour party did nothing.

        You truly have no idea, right?

        When we loose our premises, our customers, can't access our products we need to produce the last thing we need is wage subsidies because we then don't need no workers. Is that plain enough english?

        • te reo putake 2.1.1.1

          "Nothing, absolutly nothing in this budget for self employed or micro businesses. Nothing. No help with absolutly fucking anything."

          Ahem. The announcement includes $2.8 billion in business tax changes, including a provisional tax threshold increase, plus writing off interest on some late payments of tax. That affects thousands of SME's, who will now be able to defer tax payments. Additionally, sole traders and self-employed will be eligible for financial support if they are unable to work because they are in self-isolation, are sick from the virus or caring for dependants in these situations.

          • Muttonbird 2.1.1.1.1

            I'm assuming that sole traders count as businesses and qualify for the wage subsidy (to themselves) if they can show the 30% drop in revenue, whether in self-isolation or not.

          • Sabine 2.1.1.1.2

            tax changes

            we are not worried about taxes.

            you are writing of interest on late payments. Great! We have no income but we are waiving the late payment interest.

            defer tax payments. To when? a month? two month? three?

            Frankly, when the wave of bankruptcy is hitting starting about now, paying taxes will be the last worry so many of us have. But i do hope that all the big companies that are usually really good at avoiding taxes will be held to account and this time around will pay their fair share, lest there be anyone left over in this country to pay taxes and rates.

            I am sorry, TRP, but is falls under too little, too fucking late, and bullshittery.

          • SHG 2.1.1.1.3

            Awesome so when I go out of business and lay off all my staff next week we can all feel better because I can write off some interest on some tax payments in the next financial year.

            I see this as an absolute win

        • Craig H 2.1.1.2

          Tax on benefits is net, not gross.

  3. McFlock 3

    Well, I know of at least one small pcbu that will be eying that wage relief, because I suspect the next few months are going to be very lean indeed.

    • Sabine 3.1

      when us business loose all of our premises becasue we can't be keeping up with leases, utilities, insurance, compliance cost wages will be the last thing to worry about.

      I find it funny that i can get some money for my staff ,while we are worrying about meeting all the above. Good fucking grief, our red overlords are as fucking dumb as the blue ones.

      • Crikey, Sabine, if a massive wage subsidy isn't going to help your business, it's probably time to close it.

        You seem to be saying the Government should cover the usual costs of running a business, when this package is about dealing with a specific health crisis. If, in general, it's too expensive to run a business because of rent, insurances etc. don't blame the Government, blame capitalism.

        • Sabine 3.1.1.1

          TRP

          any business in town that i spoke to is worried. We pay monthly

          lease

          utilities

          rates

          taxes

          gst

          product to produce

          compliance costs

          wages

          the reason i put wages last is because it is the first thing to go and the last thing to come. Firstly.

          Secondly, if we don't have premises we don't work. Full stop there. Many of us small businesses do lease premises, and if you find residential leases expensive, have a look at commercial ones. It will blow your mind.

          third, if i have to lock up for several weeks because the country goes into lock down then i won't have any income at all. None, nada, zilch, nix, nothing.

          I sitll howeve have to pay rent, utlitity, rates, compliance costs and wages (if at that stage still have staff), and frankly it might be easier for staff to go unemployed in the case of a full shut down.

          Fourth, i have seen my income diminished since January compared to the previous years. While we are not a tourism operator we do benefit from th local people that work in the industry. And here in tourism land many of my customer have been on cut hours since January, cause the Chinese etc did not arrive in numbers they usually do.

          So while this for you is a new thing it is something that we – all of us tiny little businesses – have been watching this for a while now.

          And again, not all businesses are 'profit' driven. Some of us are small, sustainable, i.e. we make the money to cover all of our costs, pay our staff, pay ourself and that is it, especially in small to middle town NZ.

          As for blaming government or capitalism, i blame government. They are paid – handsomly i might add – to do what is best for their country,. And shoveling moeny down certain businesses while ignoring every single self employed, sole trader, micro business is on them.

          As for closing my business, i will. Luckily i don't have any debt, so i only have a lease to pay that i will ignore. Maybe i will sub rent it to some homeless family that will need a place to self isolate.

          But just in case that you don't want to eat your words and have to cough a few times …….when you are next in town, look at all the small businesses, the cafes, the butcher, the bakers, the cabinet makers and ask yourself if a 'wage subsidy' is what they need to survive. And also ask yourself, just how much small businesses you will be happy to just see go. And also ask yourself just how many people will be unemployed because of it.

          And oh, never ever whinge again about the big box businesses because they will be all that is left.

          • Tiger Mountain 3.1.1.1.1

            Owner ops, self employed, “Tradies”, small business owners, SME owners, and the NZ petit bourgeois generally, like to think bigly, and be aspirational. But the fact is you are under the thumb of finance capital. You are not big wheels or “captains of industry” in any sense apart from mindset and identification perhaps with the 1%ers.

            This is not the time perhaps to disparage the sector that in one sense holds this country back with its Bennie Bash, Māori Bash, no capital gains attitude. But the Govt. has made a good attempt with this package that will require honesty from businesses and all sorts of people actually working in together for a change. Sure it is nice to earn a living off your own efforts, I freelance in old school print production, and have not had a boss for years, but I know where I fit in the scheme of things!

            Look closer at the package perhaps at your leisure.

          • Kevin 3.1.1.1.2

            What are you after then?

            Just a big bag of free cash?

          • RedLogix 3.1.1.1.3

            Costs, costs and more cost. You are beginning to sound like one of those whining landlords ♥

          • Descendant Of Smith 3.1.1.1.4

            "the butcher"

            Haven't seen one in town for many, many years. Nearly all the shops in town are chains or franchises apart from the ludicrous number of cafes, a menswear store and some second hand dealers/bookshops.

            Many are fake competition i.e, different brands all owned by the same parent company as well just pretending to be competition.

            Many, as an Irish friend told me are the same brands that are all over the world. Ticky, tacky.

            That horse has little to do with corona virus – that horse bolted a long time ago.

        • woodart 3.1.1.2

          agree totally te reo. having had a business with staff and premises,and all the associated costs that sabine is whingeing about, plus some they obviously dont have (or they would be wanting a bailout for those ,as well), I fully agree that if you business is that dicey in the good times, what does sabine expect?

          • Sabine 3.1.1.2.1

            What i expect?

            Say this crisis is gonna last three month. A rent/mortgage/lease holiday for this time, so that people can go home, stay home and not worry about loosing the premise they need for work or life. And if it stops can go back to start up again without an arse full of debt, they previously did not have.

            A monthly payment equalling min wage to beneficiaries/unemployed so they can stay home and look after themselves and their loved ones rather then going out trying to hustle a few bucks here and there.

            If this crisis goes into 2021 – 22 or longer (something that i believe is more akin to reality then this idea we are back to normal by June) then of course other measures must be taken. But we are not there yet.

            As i said, i can close shop today. Might actually do, have been discussing this with my partner now for days and the only reason i am here in my business is because my partner things that we can't 'give up' that easily. I have no debt in my business. I build it low and slow over a few years. And at the end of hte day only have the premises lease to pay. That is me.

            Now have a look around, the garages, the panel beaters, the tire shops, the small ladies shops, the bakers, the butchers, all the self employed all the sole traders etc etc etc how happy are you to see them all go? And go fast i might like to add. And how many do you see come back to business in a years time or three month if they can't make their payments during this time? It is easier to simply go bankrupt and on the dole. Yei!

            Rent/Lease – residential or commercial are the biggest cost in most businesses. For many without that they can't do business. Rates, are paid by businesses, how long will our towns cope with the lack of businesses paying rates?

            Now if schools close, most families will lose an income if one stays at home. will that person go on unpaid leave? Or will it be easier to simply quit and go unemployed (was the 12 week stand down cancelled?). So how are you gonna cope with mortgage and the rest?

            I think its easy to just say, hey if you don't make mega bucks and screw everyone over your business ain't worth it and just go quit and die. But in saying that, my small business has employees, had them for many years, and non of them ever cost the government and the tax payer anything, because my small lowly business kept us in bread and butter. And so are many many others around me, and they have been waiting for this announcement. And while they hoped for some sort of help with staffing, they hoped for something more substaintial. Because a business that closed down, is a business that is not having staff issues anymore.

            • Sacha 3.1.1.2.1.1

              A rent/mortgage/lease holiday

              Do you mean the state pays those things for each business or person? Isn't that just transferring money to banks, etc?

      • McFlock 3.1.2

        Funnily enough, wages were the first thing I worried about. We have contingencies for the premises and rent, but folks gotta eat on a weekly basis.

        • Sacha 3.1.2.1

          Yes, businesses will still have to plan and perhaps negotiate with their financiers to cover other essentials.

          • McFlock 3.1.2.1.1

            We were working on a limit of a few weeks if we had a sudden revenue halt. This pushes back the clock again, which isn't how normal businesses run but is business as usual for theatre lol

  4. Well that was a surprise. Good speech by Grunt the Robertson – particularly at the end:

    basically investment over austerity. Good on him. Now keep it up

    Naturally enough, Soimun had to start barking – ruf ruff…..ruff ruff ruff ruff ruff while the queen of the Caci Clinic looked on doing facial gymnastuks.

    (Your) God I pray they have to go into self-isolation.

    And imagine the trans-tasman and trans-colonial phone traffic at the moment.looking for advoice on what next to do. Capacity must be nearing swampage

    But as for his commendations and kudos to all those publuk servants who've contributed – ask yourselves………..maybe this is how you should be working day to day.

    It's what you signed up for a life (or at least interlude) of martyrdom was meant to encompass.

    • Oh…….. but if you happened to be watching ONE News ("your news") rather than Parlyarmint TV, you'll have seen the interruption.

      What a crock. The proceedings interrupted by a commercial footsie jiggle. Me bunions are feeling SO much better, not too mention me wrinkles. Pretty sure it wasn't just down to the fek that Jack the Tame needded to go take puss

      Price Waterhouse (the keepers of the Chicken Cooper) are no doubt monitoring the problem in this space going forward.

    • peterh 4.2

      If some people don't get it, this is the package that will not be changed In the next 8 week, so people like Simon &Sabine should shut the f up, we are all in this together and complaining and crap not going to help anyone, everyone in NZ have to be on the same page

      • Sabine 4.2.1

        i will no more shut up then you.

        This is a crisis. And i, and my fellow small business owner are in the same fucking boat as you are.

        So yeah, nah.

        • peterh 4.2.1.1

          And what do you think the extra 5b of spending in the next 8 weeks is going to do for the small business owner that is how they are trying to help in that way

          • Sabine 4.2.1.1.1

            i have said many times what i had hoped for and nothing of that was outlandish or too costly.

            but then i never spoke about the need of bailing out some industry here or there, i was simply hoping that the government would bail out its citizenry.

            Oh well, i must be a dreamer.

        • RedLogix 4.2.1.2

          To be fair I do understand. Every business has a different capital, operating and wage structures. Many will be badly hit, others might be busier than ever. It's not easy to imagine a quick clean system to help everyone that doesn't have inequities built in.

          Actually I wish you the best with what is clearly going to be a tough and stressful time.

      • weka 4.2.2

        Peterh, I'm saying this a moderator, but don't want to get the bold pen out. Please don't tell people to stfu, especially in this context. Everyone is stressed, we're in a massive and fast social change. Some people are in more serious situations than others, everyone deals with stress in a different way. One thing we can do is try to not inflame the situation even more. Thanks.

  5. Chris 5

    All main benefits up by $25 a week. Great, but I wonder if the poorest of the poor are going to miss out again by the dollar-for-dollar reduction in temporary additional support payments? Governments over recent decades have never dealt with this issue. The accommodation supplement drops, too, because the subsidy is assessed on the basis of a percentage of the difference between accommodation costs and 25% of the main benefit rate. $25 a week sounds good but the built-in inequities of inceases like this are never addressed and ironically always hit the poorest the hardest.

    • weka 5.1

      Fuck.

      • OnceWasTim 5.1.1

        Is that an instruction? If it is, this could be the start of the next baby boom.

        In twenty years time we won't have to worry about all those bloody ummigrunts coming here and taking all our jobs. It might even solve academic pondering over the true meaning of colinisation and neo-colonisation (going forward).

        That's it @ weka. You've struck on the solution. Self-isolate with your partner and fuck

    • weka 5.2

      If the main benefit increases, does AS and TAS always drop? Does that happen for the annual inflation increase too?

      • Sabine 5.2.1

        one hand gives one hand takes and thus it was ever since.

        Gentler, kinder…..still the same bullshit.

      • Chris 5.2.2

        The mechanism whereby both benefit reduce when main benefits increase is built in so in principle everyone is affected. There are exceptions with the AS but they are dependent on factual scenarios, like people paying high rent in areas with relatively low AS maximums. Most people receiving TAS (i.e. the poorest of the poor) will see little increase if any because TS goes down by a dollar for every extra dollar of main benefit.

        Here's a basic outline of how that works. The accommodation supplement is calculated by taking 25% of the basic benefit rate away from the accommodation cost, and then 70% of the difference is the entitlement, subject to the caps according to area and family size. So any benefit increase means an increase to 25% of that rate, which lessens the difference between the accomodation cost and that increased 25% figure that has been increased by the benefit rate increase. Say a main benefit is $215 a week, 25% of that is $53.75 which is then rounded up to $54. Rent at $200 less $54 is $146 then 70% of that is $102.20, rounded up to $103 a week of accommodation supplement. (If the cap is lower than this the cap is paid, not the $103. For single people over 25 the caps for Areas 3 and 4 are $80 and $70.)

        So add $25 to the $215 comes to $240 a week. 25% of that is $60 so take that from rent of $200 leaves $140, and 70% of that is $98 a week of AS. This means the $25 increase takes $5 back of accommodation supplement. For people receiving a higher benefit rate, for example a supported living payment or a benefit for caring for children the differences are magnified significantly because we’re dealing with percentage increases of higher main benefit rates.

        For people receiving TAS the situation is more grave because it's a dollar-for-dollar reduction. That $20 net increase would be swallowed up if the person was receiving the TAS payment leaving no net increase. The insidiousness here is in the fact the TAS is meant to be for the poorest of the poor but any increase in main benefit is almost always 100% offset by a reduction in the TAS payment (if the person is lucky enough to receive it in the first place).

        The consequences in terms of the maths always occur because it's built in to the legislation, but some groups in practice avoid an actual change, for example those already subject to the statutory accommodation supplement cap i.e. already paying high accommodation costs therefore are subject to the cap, and/or living in areas where the cap is relatively low.

        • RedLogix 5.2.2.1

          Good explanation thanks. Now how much easier would an Emergency UBI be?

          • Janet 5.2.2.1.1

            How much easier would UBI be permanently? The social benefit systems have been extrapolated and exploited by some for so long now they are many headed monsters. UBI with no add on or deduct off ability.
            UBI would help cover Sabines situation too.

            • RedLogix 5.2.2.1.1.1

              Well I've argued for this many times over many years, but be warned the hard left here generally regards it as the work of the devil. It's safest not to mention it too often.

              • Chris

                Because the only thing the right properly understands about a UBI is that it's universal. For the right a basic income is also extremely basic, so much so that it's grossly inadequate. So yes, such a UBI could easily be the work of the devil.

                • RedLogix

                  My frustration is that many people here look at it through a solipsistic lens; how much money will I get with a UBI compared to now? Neglecting any consideration of how it would make increasing your total income a lot easier, and the wider social context you live in.

                  All the evidence suggests that the psychological positives of a UBI based system would reduce the impact of inequality, and reward personal agency. And that's before we talk about the even larger benefits of the major tax reform that would have to be part of the package.

                  At the present our welfare and tax system are so rickety and distorted that they drive behaviour into unproductive directions; the kind of systems TOP are promoting look to increase productivity (at which NZ sucks) and create a more prosperous society overall. All these are hard to quantify and but to my mind are the most important elements justifying such a radical move.

                  • Chris

                    So give everyone 200 bucks a week and watch the potential in everyone blossom. Great plan.

                    • RedLogix

                      Yes I do think it’s a ‘great plan’ 🙂

                      No UBI scheme is a silver bullet on it's own, but if it took us in a better direction and indeed we could "watch the potential in everyone blossom", exactly what objection would you have?

                      The welfare system we have at present is notoriously bureaucratic, intrusive, paternalistic and inhibits personal agency at every turn. Why is the left so very wedded to this system? I thought we stood for the eradication of poverty? I thought we wanted to see people do well, to thrive and find both joy and meaning in their lives, in spite of the limitations we all have.

                      Sneering at the $200pw is a narrow and materialistic view of the problem. I realised this some years ago when I imagined what would happen if tomorrow we made everyone equally wealthy, that we shared out all the world's money and assets on a purely equal basis, that we made all outcomes the same and eliminated inequality. And did nothing else.

                      Within a generation, probably less, the mass of people would be poor again, and a small number of people would be rich again. Inequality manifests itself in material terms, we measure it using dollar units, but the root of it lies elsewhere.

            • Craig H 5.2.2.1.1.2

              I'm in favour of UBI, but UBI still needs state housing and additional support for invalids and the like as it is underdone if rents are too high or people can't work at all or only a little.

    • AB 5.3

      Too much complexity in the system – put there by an underlying puritan/punitive mindset over decades.

      • Chris 5.3.1

        The 2018 Act introduced by the nats and embraced and passed by Ardern's government was meant to be about making thing less complex but instead it's far more complex than it's ever been. But of course we’re only talking about beneficiaries so who cares?

    • Incognito 5.4

      You were correct, it seems.

      Main benefit increase

      From 1 April 2020 all main benefits will increase by $25 per week.

      This increase to the after-tax rate will apply to:

      • Jobseeker Support
      • Sole Parent Support
      • Supported Living Payment
      • Young Parent Payment
      • Youth Payment

      This is in addition to the already announced 1 April rate changes.

      This increase in your benefit payment may affect some of your other payments such as Temporary Additional Support, Accommodation Supplement and Childcare Assistance – but generally people will be better off because of these changes.

      https://www.workandincome.govt.nz/eligibility/emergencies/2020/coronavirus.html#null

      • Rosemary McDonald 5.4.1

        Blessed be the name of the lord.

        Amen.

      • Sabine 5.4.2

        but generally people will be better off because of these changes.

        unless they are not, but they are to shut up and die silently right?

  6. observer 6

    This is a staggeringly bad speech by Simon Bridges.

    He seems to think it's just another election debate.

    • Yep, Simon looked like he was dumbstruck by the announcement. I'm watching Jacinda and, well, she's the leader we need at this time.

    • Wensleydale 6.2

      He's flailing about trying to come up with some negatives without looking like a petulant ingrate… and failing. Story of his life really.

    • mac1 6.3

      Bridges did the same thing at the Grey Power AGM last year in Wellington. He misread the audience and the purpose of an after dinner speaker and ended up getting heckled, and a very pointed thanks but no thanks speech of thanks at the end. Some drummers can be very insensitive to the needs of the melody and the lyrics. Simon is one of those- all kick drum and heavy-handed on the off-beat.

  7. millsy 7

    Labour just won the next election.

    • Sacha 7.1

      And Bridges knows it. History will erase the dude yapping on the sidelines.

      • observer 7.1.1

        I know it's easy to be an echo-chamber, blinkered etc … but in all honesty I am amazed that Bridges misjudged it so badly.

        I thought he was going to "kill with kindness", play the patriot role, welcome the package but say "we will hold to account". That would have done him no harm.

        National MPs looked at their shoes a lot.

        • Sacha 7.1.1.1

          Without being partisan at all, he was just not good enough. Given it's a time of crisis, maybe there is cover for his party to knife him now rather than after the election?

    • Sabine 7.2

      i am going to have great fun voting for NZ First, or legalise Aotearoa, of even TOP.

      but i will not under no circumstance for for this posse of beige beings.

    • McFlock 7.3

      A fb bene friend is fecking ecstatic:

      i'm swooning, i am really excited about this

      it's the difference between a new bra or not.. or new shoes.. or not.

      or a waterproof jacket for winter or not.. oh my goodness

      But then, she's already a leftie lol

  8. Muttonbird 8

    Not sure why beneficiaries are getting more. They didn't have a job to lose.

    Although, there will be a lot more beneficiaries in the coming weeks so I suppose it makes sense for the newly unemployed.

    • Sabine 8.1

      they did say nothing about unemployment and the soon to be unemployed.

      So don't count on it.

      • observer 8.1.1

        I suppose it helps you to vent on here, but really it would be more helpful if you paused for a moment and digested the details.

    • The extra money beneficiaries get will be immediately spent, helping to boost the economy. That increased spending is also one of the reasons that increases in the minimum adult wage are so good for the economy.

      • Sabine 8.2.1

        actually no, my friend the beneficiary will spend her extra money on the $ 50 increase of rent that was advised to her will happen from April onwards.

        so there is always that. But then landlords in NZ always get their cut of meat. right?

        • Craig H 8.2.1.1

          That counts as spending, albeit probably not the spending the government had in mind.

    • Tiger Mountain 8.3

      The Govt. knows Beneficiaries will spend every cent, and contribute to the money go round, including small businesses. Tax cut recipients may or may not not spend it–and the rest of society gets cuts to social infrastructure regardless.

    • Rosemary McDonald 8.4

      I don't know why beneficiaries get anything from the Gummint.

      At all. Ever. Never mind a $25 per week increase.

      At least it is not the 47% increase the pesky WEAG recommended back then. Before.

      The good thing Muttonbird is that with any luck (and there is a god) then it will be the sick and the cripples and the old gits who can't afford private healthcare who will pop their clogs first.

      Leaving much more for the deserving of gummint largesse.

      As it should be.

      SNAFU.

    • woodart 8.5

      well, if you really think hard!, you will realize that the increase in benefits will be spent straight away, in NZ, not put in the bank to rot, so will be a direct supercharge to the countries economy. this money will go round many times in the economy. its way more effective than trickledown…

      • KJT 8.5.1

        Exactly.

      • peterh 8.5.2

        And it will not be spent on overseas trips

        [Can you please correct the typo in your user name? Thanks]

      • Gabby 8.5.3

        A good deal of it will go straight into debt repayment I should think. Ta v much says Mr ANZ.

      • Chris 8.5.4

        The poorest won't see it because it gets absorned into existing hardship provisions. If the government wanted to they could reinstate the assessment mechanism used to determine the rate of special benefit as at February 1991 as part of how the TAS benefit rate is calculated, including the discretionary aspect to paying outside of the formula. The government could do this by just changing the regulations. No oversight of Parliament needed. The change to regulations in 2004 was sold on the basis of the flexibility regulations bring when needs change. This government should put its money where the 5th Labour government's mouth was.

    • Nic the NZer 8.6

      I think it should be seen as an acknowledgement that the benefit regime is extremely stingy. Beneficiaries have very few resources to fall back on in a time of crisis (such as the present). If the regime was socially inclusive to begin with then you may have a point.

      • barry 8.6.1

        I think the benefit increase was planned for the budget and would have started on 1 July. they have brought it forward for the spending boost.

        Only National would suggest giving destitute people a bit extra in bad times and taking it away again when times improve.

  9. SPC 9

    They may not have covered the gig economy worker in multiple jobs (these being casual and or piece-rate).

    There was/is the case for a UI trial for those under 25 to cover the activity of those with such work patterns (the dole plus $100 before abatement at 90 cents in the dollar would be an administrative nightmare – reporting variable income each week etc). And no better time than now for it (given the risk of a sudden lockdown taking out their employment and puting them on the dole).

  10. Kevin 10

    Good to see some Disaster Socialism for a change. Interesting comment Robertson made towards the end about neoliberalism. Maybe this is what was needed to finally turn things around.

  11. SPC 11

    I am a little surprised given the cheapness of debt

    1. no offer of interest free loans to businesses struggling with overheads while revenues are down in this downturn.

    2. no offer to farmers of interest free loans for "farm standard" realisation – a set of standards (which some would have already met), to secure our farm grass'land standing with our export markets (the debt repaid on farmsale).

    • Sabine 11.1

      no as per the comments up thread, we – small business owner that doin't have years worth of risk 'debt' or risk 'capital' sitting in an account should just shut up and die iso as to not upset the nice polite society.

      but thanks for pointing out that this 'package' literally leaves a good half of the country to fend for themselves.

      • Adrian 11.1.1

        You obviously do fuck all work in this business of yours to spend all afternoon commenting on here.

        • woodart 11.1.1.1

          yes, I thought that adrian, obviously a very easy business to run, and STILL wants more of a handout!

  12. Rosemary McDonald 12

    Yay! The $NZ rises and the Sharemarket bounces back!

    The Well Off are clearly happy.

    Whew.

    For a moment there I thought perhaps the wee banner headline would be along the lines of….

    "Businesses say…' We'll ride this out for a few weeks and put more $$$ into an already starved public health system. Put the services at the front line of this battle first.' "

  13. Sacha 13

    There is also the Budget in May to come.

    • Rosemary McDonald 13.1

      Hoping for a Big Boost to Vote Health there Sacha?

      Don't hold your breath…there's already a shortage of respiratory support equipment.

      $500M is fuck all considering the decades of deliberate underfunding…they need the $$$ and the surety today.

      • Sacha 13.1.1

        I'm expecting they will again look at what's needed in the next phase.

        Someone on RNZ or TVNZ said that Robertson told them when questioned in the lockup that Health would get whatever money they ask for on this – the $500m is not a limit.

        Wondering if we could set up state-funded local manufacture fast enough for ventilators, masks, etc? Might cost more but guaranteed supply.

        • Rosemary McDonald 13.1.1.1

          I would say we're well able as a nation to do this.

          Considering a gift shop in Hamilton was selling thin, shitty paper masks for $4 each…the YouTube inspired 6ply jobbies we are experimenting with at the moment ( a couple of chemo patients as well as an aging crip or two on the whanau…figure it's up to us to look after our own) have got to be more effective and cheaper.

          As for the high tech stuff…we used to do this stuff here.

          We can do it again.

          Let's.

    • SPC 13.2

      Enough funding for Health

      1. so the Health Boards can move to fully staff the wards with nurses

      2. so resident doctors are not zombies by the end of their shifts

      3. and if staff have to wait till the next wage round for more pay, at least end of their repayment of TD – and instead move to write it off at 20% pa.

      And … Pharmac.

      • Sacha 13.2.1

        I suspect that was already being worked on for the 'election' Budget in May and being negotiated quietly with the DHBs.

  14. ianmac 14

    Seems funny that Sabine lashes out at the Government. For one who is so much against Big Government getting in the way instead of letting The Market rule, it seems hypocritical that she expects/demands that her business must be supported and propped up.

    • The Al1en 14.1

      A bit hypocritical. Sabine moans when the minimum wage rate goes up, like she doesn't want to support and prop up her lowest paid employees.

    • JanM 14.2

      Sounds like just lashing out to me. Having your business collapse around your ears is no fun – been there, got the badge; 😣

    • Sabine 14.3

      I don't expect, nor demand that my business is being supported or propped up. Silly you.

      I am asking that small businesses, sole traders, self employed people in this country get the same attention that large businesses get.

      Also i am aksing that you get help once your spouse or you should loose your jobs cause the business that you work for is going down because governmetn judged it too small and too inconsequential for propping up.

      See when i ask for a rent/lease/mortgage holiday i am not asking for myself only, i would like to see this applied to all.

      When i argue for government loans (no point going to the banks atm) so that small businesses, sole trader, self employed could apply for to get a few grand to tide them over then again i don't argue for myself but for a whole bunch of people.

      What i find interesting tho, is the amount of people here who give nary a shit about the small business people in their communities.

      This budget is bull. It can and chances are it will reduce in decreased benefits for most – see comments by others then me above in regards to the issue with Winz – while doing absolutly nothing for those that are in the gig economy, while doing nothing for you or me, or anyone else who is not Air NZ or a big tourist hotel / provider. Essentially we are now paying wages to those that very happily would avoid paying taxes at all costs. Ain't government grand? While the rest is left to bail themselves out by themselves.

      As for me being against government? Why on earth would you think so? Oh because i expect these suits to do the job the begged to get elected to?Nah, I am against incompetent flacks that over promise, under deliver and then beg to get elected again, so that next time they can do better. Which sadly is an affliction all of our parties seem to suffer from.

      • Sacha 14.3.1

        The package covers sole traders and contractors, not just employees. Please go and read the detail.

        • The Al1en 14.3.1.1

          And it's not even hidden in the small print.

        • Sabine 14.3.1.2

          when they are in isolation – would be invalids /illness benefit nothing new

          when they are sick – see above

          when they look after sick relatives. – carers benefit, i think Rosemary can tell you about that.

          To be honest, all i was hoping for was a credit line from Government to small businesses/sole trader/self employed that would be a intereest free thing that can be paid back at a later stage when things are normal.

          That would have been indeed proper help, but first i must get sick, and then i can apply for a Winz benefit that is already a regular benefit. Great.

          • Sacha 14.3.1.2.1

            There are other things for small businesses like deferral of provisional tax, increased thresholds for assets, etc. Details available from here: https://www.beehive.govt.nz/feature/covid-19-economic-response-package

          • te reo putake 14.3.1.2.2

            Or you can apply for business support right now, Sabine, including personal income protection. The package genuinely appears to cover your small business, so what are you waiting for? I get the feeling that there is something about your circumstances you are not telling us. Perhaps the business was failing well before Covid-19 became an issue?

            • Muttonbird 14.3.1.2.2.1

              A business doesn't have to be failing to find instant pressure from these ridiculously over-reactive times.

              It might be a good business but susceptible to sledgehammer clampdowns.

              • True, and that's why I asked. This package seems perfectly tailored to help small businesses survive, so I'm puzzled as to why Sabine is so negative about it. Her antipathy seems entirely based on her business's specific circumstances, which we don't know and which she absolutely does not have to share in this forum.

                I just have a feeling that Covid-19 is not the primary problem and that maybe excessive rents and other high costs of business are. If so, then the issue is the ruthless nature of capitalism.

                • Muttonbird

                  A lot of people, including me, are bewildered by the irrational pile-on by successive panicked governments into shutting the world down.

                  These measures ruin lives and this is where the negativity comes from.

                  A little compensation here and there is not going to replace permanently lost business and clients.

                  My position is that the reaction to this pandemic has been woefully hysterical the world over.

                  It's not as if we haven't had practice runs at this (SARS, etc) so when this occurs again and it will we need to be able to mitigate it without crushing everything people have worked for which is what's happening now.

                  • Sacha

                    bewildered by the irrational pile-on

                    If you believe it is not rational then it must sure seem bewildering, yes. Do you think it is possible that you have the wrong end of the stick on this?

                    • Muttonbird

                      It hasn't been coherent at all.

                      With each pandemic we appear to have learned absolutely nothing about minimising wider damage. It's just not possible to run society when you're locking it down because of the flu.

                • woodart

                  + 1 te reo

                  • Adrian

                    Agreed Muttonbird. A young french guy,is staying with us at the moments and I spoke with his mother today, the French are quite sanguine about the whole thing but obeying the restrictions generally. She lives in Toulouse, 1 million people no cases of C-19 yet full shut-down whereas a few days ago the Govt wasn't in panic mode BUT, no apparent action looks like Govt ( Macron ) doesn't care. So a lot of the big moves may be electorally driven.

                    Interestingly the problematic area is in the East of France, Colmar, Alsace etc, colder, wetter and foggier, lets hope we get a continuation of this Indian Summer.

                • Sabine

                  because while you tell me that if i don't have six month to twelve month capital lying around to help myself over the crisis i should just die.

                  however, Air New Zealand who also does not have six month to twelve month capital lying around needs to be bailed out.

                  some 70% of all New Zealand jobs are in businesses of 10 or less i was told.

                  that means that only 30% of employment is happening in really large firms.

                  most of the smaller businesses are cash flow dependent. If that cash flow drops for what ever reason we go bust. True that. However, in the case of just bad business years i might be able to look for other markets, expand, cut down etc etc to make sure i stay afloat and can continue.

                  this time it is somewhat different, and again i like to point out that I whinge for many businesses not only mine.

                  The business next to mine is a hair dresser. 10+ years at the same location. Tuesday is her 'night cuts ' day. Open till 10.30 pm – every tueday, she and two girls. Today it was her, she rocked up at 10 this morning and she left at 2.30 arvo. Non of the other girls showed up. She has no bookings. She was closed on Saturday. She had no bookings. She was closed on Sunday and on Monday. No bookings.

                  Now how long do you think she can manage, and how do you think she is going to pay her overheads without any cashflow.

                  Non of what this current government has done will do anything other then shovel money up the arses of companies that are known tax avoiders but are large enough to get most of the dosh, and the rest of us we will declare bankruptcy in a month or two and go on the dole. Because if you are locked in a lease, and you are looking at no income fro the next two to six month that is better tehn trying to pay the lease on the credit card.

                  So maybe you must take your own blinders of, and ask about all the tiny tiny businesses in NZ that faithfully provided decent employments in their area, and wonder how they will fair.

                  And if you want to blame capitalism then you must blame the Government, because if we are dealing with high business costs and rents (and oh btw, the increases in prices were already advised cause yeah, increasing wages will have that effect, and will start 1st may for many many businesses) because successive governments have done fuck all to curb these costs, and to protect their citizens and their buisnesses from it. Nothing exists in a vacuum, and while it may be nice and comfortable to blame capitalism it is also lazy thinking. Nothing the Clark gov ernment did curbed capitalism, and nothing that the Ardern government did today will curb capitalism.

                  Btw, the hairdresser is on a long term lease. I hope she has enough money somewhere stocked away to keep paying that monthly 3 grand that it costs her. But then, she too can just fold and die right? As the mechanics behind my shop, if those hard to come by spare parts go any higher in prices and there are less and less customers they too can just default on their payments and go on the dole. Because that is the only way for them to continue to have a live once this has passed us.

                  Luckily we did bail out Air NZ tho….right. Cause they are too big to fail. And the big tourist providers….Cause they too are too big to fail.

                  All you show TRP is that you have nothing learned from the GFC Vs.1 while we are running fullsteam ahead to GFC Vs. 2.

                  As for my business , I am a chocolatier. I am the chocolate fairy in a tiny business, with all my tools, benches, vitrines, etc paid for, Easter for me is usually a time to make money, followed by trade shows, and corporate orders and then full prep for Christmas. We did so well last year that we were planning to maybe open (together with another business – to share costs and have a higher foot traffic) a little retail space in town to get more exposure . As i said before, i will find it easy to stay home because i don't have loans. I only have my monthly overheads which come to about 5 grand. If i make 376.00 a day i break even. 🙂 I made 63$ today, usually at this time i make 500 – 800 on any day. So take that and do with it what you want. As for my staff….I don't have any left. I am preparing to shut down.

                  Personally i believe that had the governmetn just simply wrote a check to every household in NZ it would have been the best thing they could have done.

                  Sadly however it decided to a whole lot of nothing. And i am fairly happy to posit that the future will prove me correct.

                  • Sacha

                    Personally i believe that had the government just simply wrote a check to every household in NZ it would have been the best thing they could have done.

                    Let's see how that goes for Australia.

                  • Well, I'm sorry to hear the business is closing, Sabine. However, assuming you normally pay yourself a wage, you appear to be eligible for the wage subsidy. So that's not 'nothing'. And it might help save the business, so put your hand up.

                    The same applies for your hairdresser friend.

                    • Descendant Of Smith

                      Yeah I find it confusing when you say you won't get anything.

                      "Wage subsidies will be available for businesses if they can show a 30 per cent fall in their revenue for any month between January and June 2020, compared to the year before."

                      It seems pretty clear that you are saying you could meet this threshold. You've already talked about your loss of sales and that Easter is your busy time.

                      All the accountants I know advise their business owners to pay themselves a wage and also not to split it in half with their spouse to reduce taxes as you can easily come unstuck when things happen like having an accident and only getting 80% of half your earnings (not that some listen).

                      So it would seem on the surface that you should get assistance of up to $585-00 per week (that's an annual income of about $30,000 per year) which isn't high but you're not indicating you make large amounts of money anyway. Nor is the hairdresser most likely.

                      What I do wonder is why you are so angry at the state. You rightly say much of both your overheads is your lease costs – in these circumstances one would hope that the landlords would step in and relieve some of your pressure by excusing or reducing your leases. That to me is the real issue – that the rentier capitalist level above you still expects their pound of flesh. While the government is stepping in to provide you some support you have got angry at them but don't seem angry at all at those who extract your labour and wealth through high rents. They seem to be not your friend at all.

                      Maybe your anger needs to be a little redirected.

                      “some 70% of all New Zealand jobs are in businesses of 10 or less i was told.”

                      That’s a little misleading in some respects as many people who were employees were forced from Rogernomics onwards to become self employed contractors as the costs of doing business – equipment, vehicles, sick leave, annual leave, health and safety, etc – were moved to the employee from the employer. Think courier drivers as a good example.

                      While technically they are self-employed it was just an irresponsible cost-shift.

                      But you are right the government made it happen and the government lets it continue. Race to the bottom. Uber et al takes it to another level.

                  • SHG

                    Luckily we did bail out Air NZ tho….right. Cause they are too big to fail. And the big tourist providers….Cause they too are too big to fail.

                    Just wait for Rugby New Zealand to come with cap in hand. VITAL INDUSTRY, just you wait.

                  • Craig H

                    29% of jobs are in small businesses (less than 20 employees), 21% in medium businesses (20-99 employees) and 50% in large businesses (100+ employees).

          • bill 14.3.1.2.3

            To be honest, all i was hoping for was a credit line from Government to small businesses/sole trader/self employed that would be a intereest free thing that can be paid back at a later stage when things are normal.

            A deal like the criminal bankers got? Oh. No. You're suggesting you'd pay it back. My bad.

            Sorry, but unless you're scum, the idea is to sink you.

            • Sabine 14.3.1.2.3.1

              i know.

            • Sacha 14.3.1.2.3.2

              unless you’re scum, the idea is to sink you

              Can you be any more of a drama queen?

              [Sure can hon. Two week ban for pointless trolling and repeated attempts at derailing] – Bill

  15. SPC 15

    The wage subsidy gives confidence to employers that they do not need to rush to retrench staff to survive, they may now be able to bide their time and wait it out.

    The Winter Power Income Supplement is important – as a health matter. People in warm homes sleep better and this is important to the strength of the immune system. And people will be spending more time in their homes this winter – and that will bump up the bills.

    Maybe they will look at extending this to those on WFF tax credits eligible to the CSC because of their low income in the May budget? They are under pressure from rents and may find these bills increasingly difficult to make when due.

  16. Andre 16

    Things that make you go hmmm …

    In the US, the big coronavirus relief action by the Fed, consisting of dropping interest rates to zero, gave the result of dropping the sharemarket by 12%, the second biggest ever single day percent drop (after 1987). In New Zealand, the OCR was slashed yesterday, and the NZX dropped 5% at opening this morning.

    Then the NZ government announces a package putting actual money into actual people's hands to spend back into the economy and a commitment to help businesses to minimise the numbers that fall over, and the sharemarket bounces straight back up around 6%.

    Conclusions?

    • Sacha 16.1

      He really is a stable genius.

    • AB 16.2

      Conclusions?

      As interest rates get near to zero, everyone realises that the situation is dire and central banks are actually not in control. Also that lowering interest rates is a very crude instrument that doesn't result in what the theory/ideology says it should – heroic entrepreneurs hiring people, upping production and increasing aggregate demand. Hence panic.

  17. RedBaronCV 17

    Again before receiving wages subsidies I''d expect bigger businesses to have to drop large wages at the top and haul back on profits

  18. bill 18

    Hmm. So if I get ill (and most of us will), then I will likely be feeling cold due to a temperature and expected to keep myself warm on whatever $60 or $70 a week, minus whatever off-setting hits TAS payments and what not equals.

    But on top of that, I'm expected to have laid in 3 or 4 weeks of food, yes?

    All of the middle class wankers who are offering opinion on this thread – you all understand what living week to week and scraping by on a bare minimum of essential purchases is, right?

    I mean, you all understand we're not talking about how fucking hard times are because the $25 bottles of wine might have to be swapped out for cheaper ones and "bugger darling, we might have to forego some of that eating out that we do!"

    This bullshit of giving inadequate financial payments to NZ poorest on the one hand while gouging a percentage back because of "rules" around entitlements is enough to make me want to spit in a fucktarded politicians eye.

    I'll say this now (and I know I'm far from alone) – the wankers clambering in and around the red clown car, and the blue clown car, and the green clown car can all go and fuck themselves dead come election time. And all you comfortable middle class liberal wankers can jerk on all you like about "the lesser of two evils" – but you also get to wear the full responsibility of walking NZ into some stupid circus ring of careless ideological malevolence.

    • Sacha 18.1

      you all understand what living week to week and scraping by on a bare minimum of essential purchases is, right?

      Yes, but you had nothing to say for yourself about it when I asked yesterday.

    • Sabine 18.2

      I'll say this now (and I know I'm far from alone) – the wankers clambering in and around the red clown car, and the blue clown car, and the green clown car can all go and fuck themselves dead come election time. And all you comfortable middle class liberal wankers can jerk on all you like about "the lesser of two evils" – but you also get to wear the full responsibility of walking NZ into some stupid circus ring of careless ideological malevolence.

      this was so good it needed to be repeated.

      thank you, i could have never found the right vocabulary to explain myself so eloquently.

  19. Wayne 19

    I think there will be another package within a month, assuming the downturn is severe as I think it will be. The wage subsidy obviously helps, both directly and also in the way it allows businesses to cover other expenses. But it won’t help all businesses.

    It seems that some businesses have had a complete collapse of revenue, maybe virtually to zero. If they have no financial reserves, this package won't help them, since it assumes the business has some viability and some income. Businesses in a complete collapse will not be able to continue, unless they get access to capital to pay at least the essentials, rent, etc. If the business doesn't look like it has a future, the banks won't help them. Even 0% money is not worth letting out if it won't get repaid.

    Maybe the govt could provide emergency tide over finance, but even the govt would need to have some level of assurance that the business has a future.

    In the late 1980's farmers who were in a hopelessly insolvent situation were given exit packages by the government. To effectively start again, but not enough to save their farm. Maybe something like that will be required.

    • Sacha 19.1

      Yes, Robertson on RNZ right now is suggesting further packages before May especially for larger employers. This is just the beginning.

    • Barfly 19.2

      Wayne

      You are by far one of the more non-sensical right wing commentators…as one of the most experienced political operators in new zealand have you offered your expertise to the government??

    • Muttonbird 19.3

      It seems that some businesses have had a complete collapse of revenue, maybe virtually to zero. If they have no financial reserves, this package won't help them, since it assumes the business has some viability and some income.

      This is what Sabine is concerned about. And me too. As a sole trader I don't run with huge reserves in the bank because the work load fluctuates and I need to update gear when able.

      That doesn't mean I don't produce something important and worth keeping.

    • mike 19.4

      given the level of house hold debt i think the government my need to review the bankruptcy laws the virus is only the trigger for a real crash the melt down has been in the back ground since 2008 the spiral of debt papered over the cracks we couldn’t kick the can down road for ever stay well ever one and with bit luck we all get through 2020

    • pat 19.5

      "In the late 1980's farmers who were in a hopelessly insolvent situation were given exit packages by the government. To effectively start again, but not enough to save their farm. Maybe something like that will be required."

      The exit packages wernt designed to allow farmers to start again….it was to finance them out of the industry and repay the banks….the consequent halving of land values was what made the industry viable

      • mike 19.5.1

        the nations housing stock has been bid upwards and alot of people are going to themselves in hopeless unpayable debt may be extend the no asset procedure to home owners once only debtors should get a chance to start again with a clean slate also a moratorium on foreclosure to we get over the virus the reset we need is here its a chance to put society back in balance and weed out the excesses

      • Wayne 19.5.2

        Pat,

        Well, it was both. The banks usually had to take a haircut. As I recall, much of the payment was for the farmers and his/her family, and were not available for the bank. That is the bank could not claim it. They could only get what the farm was worth/sold for and couldn't further pursue the farmer. Usually it was enough to buy a house in a provincial city.

        It might seem generous of the taxpayer to effectively buy a house for the insolvent farmer. The advantage was that it got the farmer off the land without a mortgagee sale, and gave them a fresh start. There were lots of protests and blockades when mortgagee sales happened, and made them very difficult. Probably a good 10% of farmers took advantage of the package. It was one of the major drivers of farm amalgamation.

    • I think there will be another package within a month, assuming the downturn is severe as I think it will be.

      Shit yes. Pretty clear this $12 bil is just a down payment and the government's going to have to find plenty more where that came from. I'm busy right now thanking Christ that interest rates are on the floor and we paid down a lot of the debt from the GFC already, because borrowing is going to be essential.

  20. Wayne 20

    Barfly

    The government already has extremely good advisors. No doubt the "system" reads what I write here.

  21. Janet 21

    Is this statement true

    "NZ’s has just 176 intensive care hospital beds in total."

    If it is the border gates should have been shut 3 weeks ago.

    There are around 1000 ICU beds in Switzerland and they are saying now that it is not enough . Switzerland has a population of around 8 mil.

  22. Adrian 22

    They must be pretty bloody crook in Switzerland. NZ has about 2 to 3 times as many beds that can be quickly converted to close to ICU status but nowhere near the trained staff to woman them. ICU and Acute Care nursing is very, very highly specialised and usually has probably about 40% spare bed capacity. I would imagine short duration disasters are manageable by the existing workforce but longer term, serious problems would occur. My wife works 12 hour shifts in Acute Care, next level down, to maintain a greater degree of continuity of care but fatigue and burnout would be a big problem over weeks of stress and even longer hours.

  23. Herodotus 23

    I cannot see anything within the media releases, but I hope that these announcements are supported by adjustments in the abatement levels for those supporting themselves with additional family income, housing supplements etc. and that those with WFF also have an up lift to cover the increase of min wage and redundancy payments otherwise what was an amazing announcement will be tempered with taking by the govt with the other hand, reducing what a family receives in the hand.

  24. millsy 24

    The government is also going to have to look at 1) reversing National's prescription co-pay increase to $5 and 2) honouring it's promise to have CSC holders only pay $8 to see the doctor. This will also save money on hospital admissions.

  25. SPC 25

    SCENARIO

    There is a landlord with a tenant with a 6 month lease

    The tenant's business is not taking in revenue.

    Staff are hired in when there is work, but are not paid regular wages. Say they are casuals and otherwise operate in the gig economy (uber driving, scooter collection).

    The landlord will not be paid money but can bankrupt the business because of the unpaid rent. The landlord has no options for a new tenant.

    One option is for the landlord to charge 1/2 the rent, rather than get nothing after 6 months. Now how can this business pay even this this 1/2 rent for the 6 months?

    1. convince a bank that the business has a future after a period without revenue

    2. convince the government to provide the loan cover for the 6 months – and allow a repayment plan when normal revenues resume.

    Say the government only covers income support for the small business owners/self employed (as it covers business paying wages with wage subsidy) – this still leaves the issue of unpaid rent.

    So they pay out rent to qualify to be more than unemployed, but have little more than a benefit income to live on till business revenues improve.

    Or go on the dole and close the business – going bankrupt because of unpaid debt on the lease. (awhile before they can start a new one).

  26. Muttonbird 26

    I'm thinking of taking the $585/week self-isolation payment and going on a road trip.

  27. Craig H 27

    Credit to RBNZ for immediately acting with the OCR drop, and giving certainty by stating it would be at least 12 months, and also that they would use quantitative easing if necessary (aka printing money).

    Top work from Robertson, that finance package is a really strong answer to the immediate issues, and he has described it as phase 1 (so the Budget in May will have more). $12 billion so far for the first 12 weeks, and NZ can probably safely borrow another $120 billion if we must (our net Crown debt was a bit under $60 Billion/21% of GDP before this, so if 100% of GDP is seen as our preferred cap, we've got another $150 Billion or so).

    On that note, huge credit to Sir Bill English and Sir Michael Cullen before him for ensuring the government accounts were in good shape even despite the GFC and earthquake. Robertson gets some credit for the past two years, but he's got the leeway to pull out all the stops and keep the NZ economy going because the past 20 years has seen world-class economic management by Labour and National.

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