'It’s your money' - National pitches policy allowing Kiwi entrepreneurs to withdraw KiwiSaver funds

Source: 1News

If elected at the upcoming election, National says it wants to help entrepreneurs starting out by allowing them to withdraw up to $20,000 from their KiwiSaver to get their businesses off the ground.

It's expected the fallout of Covid-19 will be the toughest times New Zealanders have faced, so National outlined a plan to support New Zealanders to get new ventures off the ground.

In Lower Hutt this morning, National Party leader Judith Collins announced BusinessStart, a companion policy to the JobStart policy that was launched in West Auckland in late May.

The programme was desrcibed as an "entrepreneurial and job-creation explosion".

Under BusinessStart, National aims to support Kiwis who have lost their job since March 1, as well as those who lose their jobs in the months ahead.

They will get a $1000 voucher for them to get proper financial advice from a chartered accountant or registered financial adviser on their ideas and put together a viable business plan, she said.

Once those business plans are signed off, BusinessStart recipients can access up to $20,000 of their own money from their KiwiSaver account to help get their business going.

"It’s your money that you’ve put aside for a rainy day. Well, if you’ve lost your job, it’s not raining, it’s pouring," Ms Collins said.

"A lot of that KiwiSaver money is sitting in default funds. Another big chunk of it is held in foreign shares. National says it may be more valuable to you invested in your own business. It’s your choice whether to leave it with the fund managers or invest it yourself."

As well, they can access at least $10,000 in tax credits to pay GST or provisional tax when the business starts making a profit, a waiver from the Company Office registration fee of $130, and free mentoring from advisers like chambers of commerce, employers and manufacturers associations and Business Mentors New Zealand from a new $10 million contestable fund.

“By Christmas, as many as 500,000 Kiwis may be unemployed. There are already about 200,000 New Zealanders on unemployment benefits, with another 400,000 jobs being kept alive under the wage subsidy scheme that ends on 1 September," Ms Collins said.

"National’s vision is that BusinessStart recipients then feel confident enough to take on a mate, using JobStart, which gives small businesses cash payments of $10,000 for every new, permanent, full-time job they create.

"Kiwis are entrepreneurs. We are a nation of small businesses. Setting up a small business gives people the freedom to be your own boss."

Both BusinessStart and JobStart would run from November 1 to March 31, 2022.