Government announces further support for New Zealanders as alert level is raised

The situation in New Zealand is changing so rapidly, it’s hard to keep up with the news.

The Government has announced an alert level of 3 and rising to 4, in order to stop the spread of coronavirus and give the health system a chance to cope.

The decision places significant restrictions on New Zealanders. Finance Minister Grant Robertson said that the Cabinet have extended the wage subsidy scheme to cushion the impact.

Wage subsidy cap lifted

Cabinet will remove the $150k wage cap and extend eligibility to all businesses that can demonstrate revenue loss, compared to a similar period.

Businesses less than a year old are now also eligible, as are self-employed people, registered charities, NGOs, and incorporated societies.

The scheme is available for 12 weeks - but it will be reviewed and could be extended.

The total cost of the scheme was originally 5.1 billion and has been increased, with this announcement to 9.3 billion.

Rent freeze

The second decision taken is to freeze rent increases and to stop no-cause terminations.

Business financing guarantee scheme

Further work is being done on a scheme to guarantee lending to businesses, to help their survival.

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