National promises up to $100,000 for businesses that hire 10 new staff

Businesses could receive $100,000 if they hire 10 new staff, under a new policy launched by National should it get into Government. 

Source: 1 NEWS

The JobStart scheme promises businesses $10,000 per new employee hired between November 1, 2020 and 31 March, 2021. 

Businesses would get $5000 on the new employee's first day, and the other $5000 after 90 days.  

The scheme is capped at $500 million. National expected it to cover 50,000 new hires. 

National leader Todd Muller said the scheme intended to "give small business owners greater confidence to hire new people".

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Todd Muller's first question to PM as Opposition leader focuses on Government's support for small businesses

Finance spokesperson Paul Goldsmith said that "thousands of small businesses across New Zealand were starved of revenue during the lockdown and many are still struggling under level two restrictions". 

Under former leader Simon Bridges, the National Party also proposed a $8 billion GST cash refund scheme for businesses that have lost over half of their revenue across two months due to the lockdown rules - with businesses able to get up to $100,000. 

"If the business paid more than $100,000 in GST over that period, then they would be able to claim up to an additional $250,000 as a repayable loan over five years," Mr Bridges said at the time. 

Interest would be charged at a 10-year Treasury bond rate, which Mr Bridges said was about 0.7 per cent. 

When asked about National's promise today, Finance Minister Grant Robertson said it was "not really a new idea, after the GFC ... we saw a number of schemes to support employers to take on staff". 

"In many ways it builds on what we’ve already been doing in terms of apprenticeships." 

On if he would consider the approach, Mr Robertson said the Government's focus was "on the immediate needs people have and the immediate creation of jobs". 

"I notice the proposal talks about something happening in November, it's certainly an idea that we're prepared to consider, there's one or two issues with what I've heard that I would question. 

"There are always a range of ideas available but as we work through the process of job attachment, supporting people with incomes and creating jobs, we’ll consider all the ideas then.

"We welcome constructive ideas that are about getting people into work."

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Mr Muller asked Jacinda Ardern if she accepted that "more direct cash support for small businesses will help prevent job losses?" Source: 1 NEWS

Mr Muller used his first question time as leader this week to ask Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern about help for small businesses. 

He asked Ms Ardern if she accepted that "more direct cash support for small businesses will help prevent job losses?"

"I do accept that there is a role to play for Government, on that I agree," Jacinda Ardern answered. 

"We have of course placed a huge amount of emphasis on the wage subsidy, not least because small business have told us the difference it makes for them. 

"The wage subsidy scheme has put out over $5 billion directly into small businesses and it is the most significant part of the wage subsidy scheme. I would also add to the the work that's gone into tax carry back.

"Alongside that we have the loan scheme, which has been well accessed by small business."