TODAY |

Almost $11 billion handed out in wage subsidies, $83 million returned

Almost $11 billion has been spent by the Government on its wage subsidy scheme for workers affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. 

Source: 1 NEWS

Finance Minister Grant Robertson today said $10.97 billion so far had gone to businesses for more than 1.6 million employees. 

There had been 3278 refunds processed to date, with $83.4 million returned. 

This morning, the Ministry of Social Development refused to provide RNZ auditing numbers of breaches of the wage subsidy scheme, saying it would be released quarterly.

Hours later, Social Development Minister Carmel Sepuloni announced that would become weekly

Minister's office 'not interested' in Covid-19 wage subsidy fraud figures

"The vast majority of New Zealand businesses are doing the right thing," Mr Robertson said this afternoon. "We have zero tolerance for anyone who has provided false or misleading information and these people are being held to account."

The Small Business Cashflow Loan Scheme has had about 60,000 small to medium businesses access the scheme with $1 billion spent. 

Mainfreight returns wage subsidy after making more money than expected in lockdown

Figures from Ministry of Social Development showed an increase of 384 people on the Jobseeker Support benefit on the week to May 22. 

Since March 20, there had been an increase of 43,810 people on the Jobseeker Support benefit. 

Mr Robertson said that was 6.3 per cent of the working age population - "clearly not most New Zealanders", he added.