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Cabinet approves Business Continuity Package in response to COVID-19

Cabinet approves Business Continuity Package in response to COVID-19

Posted March 09, 2020
Business

Cabinet today approved the development of a Business Continuity Package to help support the economy through the disruption caused by COVID-19.

To date, the Government has made a number of immediate interventions. This includes:

· Support for the tourism and fisheries industries, an increase to regional business support funding, and directing government departments to cut payment times to businesses to 10 working days.

· IRD and MSD are supporting businesses and workers on issues like provisional tax readjustments, late payment and filing fees, wage instalment plans and income support.

MSD’s rapid response teams are already in place in regions like Tairawhiti. And removal of the MSD stand-down period.

The Business Continuity Package includes:

· a targeted wage subsidy scheme for workers in the most adversely affected sectors.

· training and re-deployment options for affected employees; and

· working with banks on the potential for future working capital support for companies that face temporary credit constraints;

As part of the package:

· The Treasury and IRD have been directed to develop tax policy options in line with the goal of reducing the impact for affected businesses, to support businesses to maintain operational continuity.

· The Treasury and MSD have been directed to develop policy options to support households to maintain incomes and labour market attachment.

The detail of this package is now being worked through. It will be discussed again at the Cabinet COVID-19 committee on Wednesday, and the Government expects to be in a position to make further detailed announcements next week.

At all stages, the Government will be engaging with business groups and industry representatives, to make sure the Business Continuity Package meets their targeted needs.