Jacinda Ardern’s Labour Party won a crushing victory in the election a little over a fortnight ago.
Prior to the election, polls showed for the first time that Labour was the preferred party amongst business owners. Commentators have argued that this gives Labour a centrist mandate. We analyse what would be on employers’ ‘wish lists’ from the new government:
From the recent cluster in Auckland to the current resurgence of the pandemic in Europe, one thing is for sure; we live in uncertain times. The return of the Labour party means that businesses will hope to have some certainty (or as much certainty as the current climate allows) on how the government will tackle the COVID-19 pandemic.
Employers will hope to be able to rely on support from the government in the form of wage subsidies should another cluster break out, or should parts of the country be required to re-enter lockdown.
Small Business Cashflow Loan Scheme
Employers will hope that Labour makes good on its campaign promise to expand and extend the Small Business Cashflow Loan Scheme, introduced in May. Under the scheme businesses with 50 or fewer full-time equivalent employees may be eligible for a loan of up to $100,000, interest-free for a year.
Labour promised to extend the scheme for three years and extend the interest-free period to two years. This will provide much-needed relief for employers who are struggling with short-term cashflow and will also incentivised much-needed investment in the damaged economy.
There have been promising steps of late in the bid to establish a trans-Tasman bubble. Industries such as the hospitality and the aviation industry would benefit immensely if the borders were opened to low-risk regions such as Australia, Singapore and the Pacific.
Reducing Transaction costs
Labour pledged before the election to regulate the cost of fees charged to retailers by banks for debit and credit card transactions. This will allow retailers to reduce costs, and potentially prices, making them more appealing to customers.