The administration has announced the continuation of the Covid-19 Resurgence Support Payment in a second phase.
Dr. Ashley Bloomfield, Director-General of Health, and Deputy Prime Minister Grant Robertson are providing an update on the Covid-19 Delta outbreak.
Watch the update here:
It comes as the government’s review of Auckland’s alert level setting – due on Monday – draws closer.
Robertson said a second round of the Resurgence Support Payment will open.
“This is a new payment as the Resurgence Support Payment was originally seen as a one-off initiative but it is clear that as heightened alert level restrictions are in place for longer it does put more pressure on businesses.”
Applications will open 17 September and will be available until one month after a nation-wide return to level 1.
To qualify, firms must experience at least a 30 percent decline in revenue over seven days as a result of the current alert levels as well as existing eligibility.
The seven day window is from 8 September.
The government estimates the new payment will cost about $430 million.
There will be two more payments after this, three weeks apart as long as the conditions that trigger the payment still apply, Robertson says.
“The overall amount of support is actually more than the last time we were in alert level 4.”
The New Zealand economy was going strong as we went into this outbreak, Robertson said.
While the bounce back last year was better than almost all economic forecasters had expected and most forecasters expect the same to happen this time, he said that was not to say the pandemic was not taking a toll on businesses.
“The second payment of the wage subsidy scheme remains open nationally for businesses. Eligibility is not determined by the alert level for the area the business is in but rather that so long as the drop in revenue is caused by the rest of New Zealand being in alert level 3 for a time or the higher alert level in Auckland.”
If Auckland stayed at level 3 or 4, that will trigger a third fortnight of wage subsidy payments for eligible businesses, he said.
As of this morning, 404688 applications for the wage subsidy have been approved in this period, totalling almost $1.7million in payments.
Robertson said one of the things Cabinet received advice about when making decisions about alert level changes was the level of testing and he encouraged Aucklanders to get tested over this coming weekend.