Top Scoops

Book Reviews | Gordon Campbell | Scoop News | Wellington Scoop | Community Scoop | Search

 

Finance Minister Grant Robertson on govt's response to Covid-19

Finance Minister Grant Robertson gave an update on economic figures during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Missed the briefing? Watch it here:

A $50bn rescue fund was at the centre of last week's 'once in a generation Budget' and included and extension of the wage subsidy scheme to the hardest hit businesses, free trades training, and a state house building programme.

Today ministers detailed spending of the more than $36m allocated in March to help keep people working.

It includes about $15 million for roading projects in the Hawke's Bay, $9.51m for roading in Northland and $1.12m for Rotorua. Queenstown Lakes receives $1.4m to support workers into new jobs after widespread redundancies.

Robertson said the take up of the small business cashflow scheme has been strong with 49,360 applications received.

He said $824m has been distributed under the scheme already.

He also said he is seeing increased economic activity in level 2.

Compared to this time last year, economic activity is down 11 percent.

Electricity demand is back at pre-lockdown levels.

There has been an increase in the number of people going onto jobseeker support with 1606 people going onto it last week, Robertson said.

"While this remains distressing for those individuals involved, I would note that the rate of increase has continued to slow over the last few weeks."

There are now 43,000 more people on the jobseeker support benefit since 20 March.

Robertson added that number of special needs and food grants have decreased in the past week.

$10.9bn has been paid out in the wage subsidy scheme and Robertson said the government is looking at other ways to support households and businesses coming out of the lockdown.

During the briefing, Robertson was asked about last night's One NEWS Colmar Brunton poll and how much of that success was down to the policies the government had enacted during the lockdown.

"I think the main thing here is the success the whole country has had in terms of getting on top of the virus and that has been a genuine team effort of five million New Zealanders. I think the public's very clear about the focus that the government has, that we are focussed on both protecting lives and livelihoods, that we've got a focus on growing jobs and keeping people in jobs, and on our economic recovery and rebuild."

"I also think that the strong and clear leadership that the prime minister's shown has been a significant factor in people's confidence as well. So I'd put all those factors together and say that as a country we're doing well and I know that the polls have shown a strong endorsement for the approach taken with the lockdown ... that's something all New Zealanders have bought into and I think those polls are a reflection of that."

Putting his sports minister hat on, Robertson was asked how the government can guarantee that events such as the America's Cup, Women's Cricket World Cup and Women's Rugby World Cup will be able to be played in New Zealand given current border restrictions and the general Covid-19 outlook.

"We're working towards all of those events taking place and I think that's the best way to do it," he said.

"All of the tournaments and the regatta (America's Cup) organisers have contingency plans in place and obviously we all work towards the goal of them happening, if we have to make changes to formats or the way they're organised then we will do that. Nobody can make any guarantees when it comes to Covid-19, we all know that, the full impact is still being felt but the planning and preparation for those events continues."

He added the government is 100 percent committed to the women's Cricket World Cup and Rugby World Cup happening given the financial support it is providing.

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Top Scoops Headlines

 

Gordon Campbell: On Why The Supreme Court Is A Bigger Threat Than Trump To US Democracy

If you need a chilling reminder of how weirdly different the United States is to New Zealand…then abortion rights is the place to start. Last Friday, in a case called Hopkins vs Jegley , the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the right of the ... More>>


The Conversation: Rogue Poll Or Not, All The Signs Point To A Tectonic Shift In New Zealand Politics

Richard Shaw AAP(various)/NZ Greens (CC-BY-SA)/The Conversation Strong team. More jobs. Better economy. So say the National Party’s campaign hoardings. Only thing is, last Sunday’s Newshub-Reid Research poll – which had support for the Labour ... More>>

Dunne Speaks: It's Time For Matariki Day

The period of Matariki, the celebration of the Māori New Year, which began earlier this week, is being celebrated increasingly as an important national event. While many other countries have their own form of New Year celebrations, Matariki is uniquely ... More>>

Gordon Campbell: On Why We Shouldn’t Be Pushed Into Re-Opening Our Borders

I believe in yesterday as much as Paul McCartney, but it was bemusing to see the amount of media attention lavished last week on the pandemic-related musings by former government science adviser Sir Peter Gluckman, former Prime Minister Helen Clark ... More>>

The Coronavirus Republic: Three Million Infections And Rising

The United States is famed for doing things, not to scale, but off it. Size is the be-all and end-all, and the coronavirus is now doing its bit to assure that the country remains unrivalled in the charts of infection . In time, other unfortunates may well ... More>>

Binoy Kampmark: Altars Of Hypocrisy: George Floyd, Protest And Black Face

Be wary what you protest about. The modern moral constabulary are out, and they are assisted by their Silicon Valley friends in the Social Media club. Should you dare take a stand on anything, especially in a dramatic way, you will be found out ... More>>

Binoy Kampmark: Welcome Deaths: Coronavirus And The Open Plan Office

For anybody familiar with that gruesome manifestation of the modern work place, namely the open plan office, the advent of coronavirus might be something of a relief. The prospects for infection in such spaces is simply too great. You are at risk from ... More>>


Binoy Kampmark: Why Thinking Makes It So: Donald Trump’s Obamagate Fixation

The “gate” suffix has been wearing thin since the break-in scandal that gave it its birth. Since Watergate, virtually anything dubious and suggestive, and much more besides, is suffixed. Which brings us to the issue of President Donald Trump’s ... More>>