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NZ provides financial support for those affected by the lockdown

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NZ provides financial support for those affected by the lockdown

The New Zealand Government is providing measures that will help support businesses and workers following the lockdown announcement.

The country moved to Alert Level 4 last night following the announcement of a new COVID-19 case in the Auckland community. The Level 4 lockdown is expected to last up to three days at the least.  

The exceptions to this are Auckland and the Coromandel peninsula, whose lockdowns will last up to seven days due to a report of a new case in the community of Auckland. 

“The Minister for Social Development and Employment Carmel Sepuloni and I have activated a number of business support measures to provide certainty to businesses and workers and ensure we get money out the door quickly to protect jobs and keep firms’ operating,” Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Finance, Infrastructure, Racing, Sport and Recreation Grant Robertson said. 

The measures the New Zealand Government activated include the following: 

  • The Wage Subsidy Scheme (WSS) — allows employers anywhere in the country to apply if they expect a loss of 40 per cent of revenue from the Alert Level increase. The WSS rates have been increased to reflect the increase in wage costs. Businesses will be eligible for $600 per week per full-time equivalent employee, and $359 per week per part-time employee. The WSS will be paid as a two-week lump sum.  
  • A Resurgence Support Payment (RSP) — will be available if firms incur a loss of 30 per cent of revenue due to the Alert Level increase. The RSP is worth up to $1500 plus $400 per full-time equivalent employee, up to a maximum of 50 full-time employees. 
  • Leave Support Scheme (LSS) — provides workers with a two-week lump sum payment of either $585.80 per week for those who are full-time or $350 per week for part-time workers, who must self-isolate and cannot work from home.  
  • Short-Term Absence Payment (STAP)  provides a one-off $350 payment for workers who must miss work due to a COVID-19 test and cannot work from home. This one-off payment is given once every 30 days. 

More details on applying for the WSS will be available on the Ministry of Social Development’s website. Information on the RSP can soon be found on Inland Revenue’s website. 

Other existing support for individuals such as the Leave Support Scheme (LSS) and Short-Term Absence Payment (STAP) will also be increased in line with the WSS, as each of these payments is set at the same rate: 

“The Government remains well-placed to respond to COVID-19. We have over $1 billion left over from the money set aside for WSS and RSP and if needed, the COVID-19 Relief and Recovery Fund has around $5 billion in it. Our net debt position is much lower than forecast and well below other countries,” Minister Robertson said. 

“A strong public health response has given us a strong economic response and put economic activity back to pre-COVID levels. Our response will continue to be based on those principles.” 

SOURCE: BEEHIVE.GOVT.NZ MEDIA RELEASE

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