Coronavirus: Thousands of jobs at risk if shops don't open soon, says National MP Nikki Kaye

National MP Nikki Kaye says the Government has not offered enough support to businesses and thousands will be unemployed if shops do not open soon.

Speaking to Newshub Nation on Saturday Kaye said "a number of businesses" have already caved under the pressure of the COVID-19 lockdown.

"Government support has not been enough," she said.

"We all understand it's difficult but the businesses I've spoken to, whether it's rent relief or rates relief or tax halts, they need more."

Kaye said she was getting numbers on businesses which might not open but did not provide the numbers when asked.

"I don't want to get ahead of those figures but I am hearing of businesses on the edge," she said. 

Kaye's calls for business as usual have been echoed continuously through the lockdown by the Opposition.

Leader of the National Party Simon Bridges has repeatedly called on the Government to shift New Zealand out of alert level 3 to allow more business activity. The Prime Minister has revealed what level 2 would look like and Cabinet will decide on Monday if the time is right. 

Finance Minister Grant Robertson said on Friday level 2 has been designed to get as many people back to work as possible and get the economy back up and running safely. 

Economist and chief executive of Business NZ, Kirk Hope says that businesses must be allowed to reopen on Monday.

In a statement, he said "every day counts".

"The longer they stay closed, the more they risk losing everything. Many enterprises are living in fear of not being able to reopen, while others fear reopening in an economy that’s been closed so long it can no longer sustain their business."

 

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