18 Mar 2020

Covid-19: Recession almost certain, government pumps up spending

From Morning Report, 7:17 am on 18 March 2020

The government is promising to keep spending as and when required to get New Zealand through a recession that's now almost certain.

It says its $12.1 billion economic package to support businesses and workers during the Covid-19 crisis is just the start.

Struggling workplaces will receive $585 a week per full-time employee for 12 weeks - up to a maximum of $150,000 per business.

Even so Finance Minister Grant Robertson says not every business and job will be saved.

Michael Hollings owns four hospitality businesses in Wellington and has been staring down the barrel of bankruptcy.

The owner of Gisborne-based Stirling Logs, Gavin Edmonds, says the package is a welcome relief.

Sam Sutton from Rotorua Rafting says the package might mean his 14-person business makes it through the next 12 weeks.

Beneficiaries will get an immediate and permanent increase of $25 a week - and the winter energy payment will be doubled this year.

This sole parent is over the moon with the extra money.

But for the leader of the opposition, Simon Bridges, yesterday's announcement was an opportunity to take potshots at the government.