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Equitable Support Needed Urgently, Says BCA, RVA

The government must administer its Business Support Package quickly, equitably and efficiently or face a rapid rise in unemployment, the Bus and Coach and Rental Vehicle Associations say.

If the package doesn’t meet those criteria, then New Zealand’s bus, coach and rental vehicle industries will have no other options but to lay off hundreds of employees.

So says the chief executive of both associations, Pim Borren, who – like many other industry leaders – is worried about his members’ future.

“While we understand and appreciate the government’s need to address Covid-19, it just so happens that banning international visitors, or ensuring they self-isolate for 14 days, impacts our industries significantly.

“Besides ensuring people’s health and safety, our primary focus is to guarantee the ongoing employment of our members’ employees and the ongoing operation of their businesses.

“Because, the reality is some operators are on the verge of shutting up shop and laying off workers.

“Therefore, the stimulus package must be administered equitably, fairly, efficiently and quickly. Otherwise we face a very deep recession that won’t impact just our industry, but the whole country.”

Some bus and coach operators have already been forced to close due to the government’s moves to restrict international travellers, Borren says.

But wide-reaching impacts have also affected industry investment, or lack thereof, as financial markets take a hit around the world.

“We have 80 members who supply the bus building industry, and they’ve already had a tough 12 months.

“But we now have bus companies that are not ordering new buses because they’re nervous about the future, and uncertainty is only going to make this situation worse.

“Bus and coach operators are also worried about the future of public transport, as well as our operators who ferry thousands of students throughout the country with the possible closure of schools.

“We support the government’s actions thus far, but we need to keep our economy afloat because we don’t want massive growth of unemployment overnight.

“So, we will be doing our best to help our members access the government’s financial support to enable them to continue employing their staff, and ensure their businesses stay open through this uncertain period.”

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