The New Zealand Taxpayers’ Union is calling on Labour MP Deborah Russell to apologise to small business owners struggling due to the Government-imposed shutdown, after her comments to the COVID-19 Response Select Committee, suggesting that owners of small- and medium-sized businesses who are struggling are doing so because of their own lack of strength or proper capitalisation.
Taxpayers' Union spokesperson Islay Aitchison says, “Deborah Russell is one of the smartest MPs in the Labour Party caucus but, with respect to her, this is a big misstep. No business is on solid foundations when the Government says, 'you must cease operations for a month but you still have to pay your staff.'”
“Dr Russell’s background is in the academic world, and it shows here. She should avoid casting these types of aspersions on those who have risked their capital, mortgaged their house, or taken a punt on a business kneecapped through no fault of their own. Deborah Russell should apologise to those people.”
A video of Dr Russell sharing these comments can be found here.