The New Zealand Taxpayers’ Union is slamming the newly-announced voucher scheme for Auckland Council venues as a slap in the face for private businesses and families that have risked financial ruin during lockdown.
Union spokesman Louis Houlbrooke says, “Auckland Council venues don’t need relief. Even during a 100-day lockdown, they were at zero risk of going out of business because they’re backed by an entity with the power to take as much rates from Aucklanders as it wants.”
“This voucher scheme will harm businesses in Auckland who, having barely survived lockdown, now have to compete against subsidised council-run attractions and the handful of lucky businesses who are allowed to opt in to the voucher scheme.”
“The economic effects of the pandemic have touched all Aucklanders, so why is the Government trying to pick winners?”
“Aucklanders deserve broad relief, and the obvious way to do this is through the tax system. Suspending excise tax on booze, for example, would give the entire hospitality sector a boost. Even broader relief could be provided through a reduction in the Auckland fuel tax. Lower fuel costs for businesses would filter through to lower prices, and families would be encouraged to jump in their cars and explore the region."