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Speaking alongside New Zealand (NZ) Prime Minister (PM) Jacinda Ardern on Friday, Finance Minister Grant Robertson said the wage subsidies extension could cost the economy NZD1 billion.

Additional quotes

“The criteria and eligibility requirements for the extension to the wage subsidies would be similar to previous criteria.”

“The public health measures were affecting businesses around the country.”

“This includes tourism operators who are expecting visitors from Auckland, companies that supply Auckland businesses, and the hospitality and retail sectors in other parts of the country now operating under level 2.”

“The latest Covid-19 outbreak was obviously disappointing, especially for businesses that had just got up and running again.”

“We have always said that the best economic response is a strong health response.”

“There is also money remaining in the existing wage subsidy allocation that will help meet the costs of this further extension,” he said.

“The wage subsidies could be available within five days.”

“Decisions on that would also be made on Monday.”

“We want everyone to feel confident that if they return a positive test that they will be looked after.”

”We will see businesses going under and jobs lost because of this. That’s why the wage subsidy is crucial so business can survive and people can stay at home.”