Businesses impacted financially by the new Level 4 lockdown are being offered a range of support measures to help protect jobs. Eligible firms can claim both a resurgence support payment and the wage subsidy, as well as other payments for workers taking Covid tests or in self-isolation.
Finance Minister Grant Robertson said the Government was reactivating business support payments and was still well-placed to respond.
“We have over $1 billion left over from the money set aside for wage subsidy scheme and resurgence support payments and if needed, the Covid-19 Relief and Recovery Fund has around $5 billion in it.
“Our net debt position is much lower than forecast and well below other countries,” Robertson said.
The “resurgence support payment” or RSP is a payment to help with one-off costs if firms incur a loss of 30 per cent of revenue as a result of alert level increases, the Government has advised.
It is worth up to $1500 plus $400 per full-time equivalent employee, for businesses with up to 50 full-time employees, which would be a total of $21,500
It is available through Inland Revenue and is available to eligible firms at the same time as the wage subsidy scheme.
The wage subsidy, which is available through the Ministry of Social Development, is for employers who expect a greater loss of 40 per cent of their revenue.
Wage subsidy rates have also been increased to reflect an increase in wage costs since the scheme was first used in March last year. They will now be $600 per week per full-time equivalent employee, and $359 per week per part-time employee.
Applications will open on Friday and wage subsidies will be paid as a two-week lump sum. The first payments will be available after three days.
A spokesman for Mr Robertson said the difference between the wage subsidy and the resurgence payment was that they were for different purposes and kicked in at different levels.
The RSP is triggered by an Alert Level 2 or higher, while the wage subsidy applies during a regional or national move to Alert Levels 3 and 4 for a period of seven days or longer.
The Level 4 lockdown announced on Tuesday is initially for seven days for Auckland and the Coromandel, and three days for the rest of the country.
Other support includes a “leave support payment” for workers who must self-isolate and cannot work from home. This offers a two-week lump sum payment of either $585.80 per week for full-time workers, or $350 per week for part-time workers.