Budget 2021 – Benefits Over Business

Published May 21, 2021 Ben Fairfax
Budget Response

The lack of funding for small business in the Budget indicates the Government is not aligned to support a strong economic rebuild for employers, according to Employsure, New Zealand’s largest workplace relations advisor.

While the Budget appears to focus on increasing benefits to try and, in Labour’s words, create jobs and stimulate the economy, it will be unlikely to have the desired effects for New Zealanders if there are no jobs for people to go back to once the coffers of businesses run dry.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has had a devastating impact on businesses across the country, as have snap lockdowns which throw the financial plans of employers into disarray,” said Employsure Advice Services Team Leader Courtney Woods.

“What this Budget needed was more support for businesses, especially smaller ones doing it tough. Greater support will not only help create jobs, but also promote increased wages within businesses.”

The lack of extra funding in the Budget will make it tough for businesses, especially if lockdowns and closures are standard responses at the first sign of a local COVID-19 cluster.

Employsure has called for more certainty provided to SMEs so budgeting can take place accordingly and businesses can operate with confidence until the time international borders can be opened to all. Without this support, employers will continue to struggle to take on more workers, and there will be far fewer businesses for tourists to support once the pandemic ends.

“We’ve heard these concerns echoed from a number of businesses. Without more support to hire workers, and without tourists, they will be forced to close their doors.

“There are urgent gaps that need to be filled in workplaces across the country. This Budget presents little for business owners to be excited about, and ultimately, there will likely be financial struggles for years to come,” concluded Ms Woods.

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