Wage Subsidy Changes Deeply Unfair
Last night’s changes to the wage subsidy scheme appear to give large windfalls to part-time workers, which is an odd priority in a time of crisis, National’s Finance spokesperson Paul Goldsmith says.
“The new rules say that employers must pay workers the full subsidy amount even if it is more than their salary.
“So a part-timer such as a student doing 4 hours a week and earning $75, would now get the full part-time subsidy of $350 a week.
“Meanwhile someone with three part-time jobs, each worth $100 a week, could get three subsidies of $350 a week.
“This surely can’t be the Government’s intent.
“It’s hardly sensible that some people should gain massive pay-rises at a time when many workers are losing their jobs and many small business owners are losing their businesses.
“The Government should rectify this anomaly by adding a requirement to the wage subsidy scheme that businesses should pay their employees the lower amount of the wage subsidy amount, or their normal wages.
“It makes more sense to pay part-timers what they have been earning before the crisis, and then leave the surplus with employers so they have a better chance of paying their full-time workers somewhere near 80 per cent of their normal earnings.
“No system is perfect, but surely we can design a better scheme than this.”