Muller announces National Party policy for business employment

After a difficult first week as National party leader Todd Muller has announced a policy targeting businesses recovering from the Covid-19 economic crisis.

It can only happen later in the year if National win back power in the election in September and get coalition party support for the policy, and the economic situation may have changed drastically by then anyway, but Muller needed to do something to appease media demanding he do something immediately.

National backs businesses with $10k JobStart

National will provide a $10,000 cash payment to businesses that hire additional staff as part of our commitment to keeping New Zealanders in jobs, National Party Leader Todd Muller and Finance spokesperson Paul Goldsmith have announced.

Our JobStart scheme would begin on 1 November 2020 and run for the remaining five months of the financial year through to 31 March 2021, incentivising up to 50,000 new jobs.

“Today National has announced another part of our plan to create jobs and grow the economy,” Mr Muller says.

“We are committed to supporting New Zealand businesses, in particular small businesses, to invest and grow. JobStart will give small business owners greater confidence to hire new people.

“Small business owners who create jobs will be the heroes of this economic crisis, in the way that our nurses, doctors and all five million of us who stayed home were the heroes of the health crisis.”

Mr Goldsmith says thousands of small businesses across New Zealand were starved of revenue during the lockdown and many are still struggling under level two restrictions.

“They are desperate for cash flow and this payment could alleviate some of the pressure they’re facing while also supporting growth.

“The scheme will be capped at 10 new employees, or $100,000 per business. Businesses will need to prove that the new hire is an additional full time equivalent over and above their existing labour force.

“The Government said its Budget was all about jobs but there was no plan to back this up. Only National has a plan to revive the economy and keep Kiwis in jobs.”

From the factsheet

The $10k JobStart is for all New Zealand businesses but it is focussed on small businesses. It will be capped at 10 new employees, or $100,000 per business. The scheme is capped at $500 million – or 50,000 new jobs.

How many new jobs are expected to be created over the five month eligibility period?

The number of new jobs created in any given period depends largely on the stage of the economic cycle.

Especially the stage of the economic cycle in a recession or depression, as the country and world may be in by later in the year.

Naturally in politics this policy has been criticised, and defended. Like:

Thee $10,000 approximately covers employment for three months on the minimum wage.

It would encourage some businesses to employ or to re-employ, but it is debatable.

If National get back into power in late September or October they will have a huge job to do dealing with ongoing Covid-19 (or the aftermath), and it is likely the economy will be in a dire situation, as will many businesses that have survived that long.

So what needs to be done then is difficult to predict now.

But Muller needed to get a policy out to show that something positive is being done under his leadership.


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  1. Gezza

     /  30th May 2020

    It would encourage some businesses to employ or to re-employ, but it is debatable.

    I forget who said but some critic said on 1News last night that some employers will probably take the money & at the end of the 90-day trial period will just sack the worker.

    • lurcher1948

       /  30th May 2020

      Gezza are you inferring that businesses will RIP off New Zealander by sacking new workers on day 89?surely not,most vote National and wouldn’t think of profiteering, no,no, couldn’t happen.FYI Mullers money is for new staff not old staff sacked and rehired for the $10k.

    • “that some employers will probably take the money & at the end of the 90-day trial period will just sack the worker”

      That’s a possible risk but I think extreme and unlikely to any extent if at all. There has been claims of that happening with the 90 day trial thing for years, and I haven’t seen anything that shows it’s a significant problem. Most employers value their employees.

      And workers may feel that three months employment is better than none.

      • Gezza

         /  30th May 2020

        Depending what it is, I would venture that with all the buggerising around WINZ does, 3 months employment probably isn’t better than none.

    • David

       /  30th May 2020

      What happens when you get a bit of a surge and you need some casuals for a couple of months. What about his mates in the kiwifruit industry who need temporary seasonal workers, can they employ rather than contract pick up the cheque and then make them redundant when the fruit has been picked or the pruning done.

  2. David

     /  30th May 2020

    Or he could reverse the latest minimum wage increase and save businesses 10k and save the taxpayers the same amount. Too easy to just go the Ardern route and promise dollops of other peoples money.
    So I have a company and my mate has a company and we each have 5 staff members, I fire my 5 and he employs them picking up 50k and he does the same and then I contract out my new 5 staff to him in exchange for him contracting out his new 5 staff and we both have 50k each which we can use to pay our tax bills.

  3. Pink David

     /  30th May 2020

    “Labour wage subsidy: money goes to worker
    National grants for jobs: money goes to employer.

    This is funny. It’s exactly the same policy. The only difference here is in the minds of the various red and blue tribes.

  4. Alan Wilkinson

     /  30th May 2020

    National’s strategy now to outspend Labour??

    AFAICS Muller is even worse strategically than Bridges.


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