Patrick Gower: Undeserving big companies ram-raided Kiwi taxpayers for wage subsidy

OPINION: I've got 'no issues' with Grant and Marilyn Nelson of Christchurch.

They are running a campaign to try and claw back some of the most lazily, easily earned cash that has ever been made since 3000BC in Mesopotamia when money was invented.

I'm talking about a cash downpour of Biblical proportions. And it actually happened here in New Zealand in 2020.

It was called the wage subsidy.

Nearly $20 billion went out - a lot of it to companies that needed it.

But now Grant and Marilyn have estimated that $10 billion - half of it - needs to be paid back.

It's a moral issue. A lot of this money was paid out to big companies, who later earned massive profits and it turns out they didn't need our taxpayer money. My money. Your money.

Each of us will be paying thousands of dollars in extra taxes to pay this back - for generations. It matters.

But nobody's chasing this cash. That's because the annual profit a business might have made after COVID-19 does not affect the fact that they were eligible for it when they applied. Technically this means they don't have to give it back. And nobody is chasing it.

Did we really try absolutely everything? Or did we just give up?

I think we gave up.

Well, Grant and Marilyn refuse to give up. They reckon if a beneficiary rips us off, we go after them. I say these businesses have basically ram-raided us and left us to clean up the mess and pay for the damage.

Grant and Marilyn are rich. They are self-made entrepreneurs who started a business out of their garage. But now they're giving away their money to try and get ours back. They are Kiwi heroes.

That's why, I've got no issues with Grant and Marilyn Nelson. 

Patrick Gower is the host of Paddy Gower Has Issues on Three and ThreeNow

Stream Paddy Gower Has Issues in full on ThreeNow.