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.