17 Aug 2021

Lockdown triggering support payments for businesses

8:11 pm on 17 August 2021

Finance Minister Grant Robertson says businesses that have a 40 percent drop in revenue will be eligible for the government's wage subsidy scheme.

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The best economic response to a Covid-19 outbreak is a strong health response, Grant Robertson says. Photo: RNZ / Samuel Rillstone

Businesses can also apply for the Resurgence Support Payment (RSP) if they suffer a 30 percent drop in income, he told a media briefing tonight.

He was speaking after Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced that the country will go into a three-day alert level 4 lockdown at 11.59pm tonight.

The lockdown has been extended to seven days for Auckland and Coromandel.

The measures are in response to a 58-year-old man from Devonport testing positive for Covid-19 today.

Robertson said businesses would be able to apply for the wage subsidy scheme from Friday via the Work and Income website.

Applications for the RSP can also be made via Inland Revenue Department's website, which should begin accepting applications from early next week, Robertson said.

The Resurgence Support Payment covers other costs apart from wages that businesses may incur.

Payments are likely to be made around three days after applications are lodged, the minister said.

He added that the best economic response was a strong health response to any Covid-19 outbreak.

It would mean the economy could recover faster than other countries.

"We will apply similar principles now to deal with the uncertainty that we are facing. We've done this before and we can do it again."

More details on the schemes will be announced tomorrow.

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