National propose $100 'dine and discover' voucher, tax changes in economic plan

Anna Whyte
Source: 1News

National has released its economic plan to "unleash our economy", which includes providing immediate support for struggling businesses, distributing 'dine and discover' vouchers, and changing alert levels based on vaccination rates and Covid cases. 

Judith Collins

Businesses 

The first phase of National's proposal sets out speeding up the payouts of the wage subsidy, increasing the subsidy amount and paying the subsidy down to Level 2. 

It wants to bring in a rental support package for some businesses at Level 3 or 4, where half of the rent is paid by the Government, a quarter is paid by the landlord and the business covers the remainder. 

National also called for the Government to give businesses clarity over vaccinations and whether only vaccinated employees could be in the workplace under health and safety laws. 

Alert Levels

It called for any area with at least 70 per cent vaccination rate, along with no Covid community cases to be dropped to Alert Level 1 immediately and allow businesses with all vaccinated staff to operate as normal under Level 2.

Allow boundary crossing by fully vaccinated staff after a rapid antigen test at the border, or evidence of a negative daily test.

Taxes

Create a temporary 17.5 per cent small businesses tax rate for two years, and allow businesses that recorded a significant loss "to stretch their tax obligations over the coming 24 months without penalty". 

National also called for the first tax rate of 10.5 per cent to be placed on the first $17,000 earned by workers, rather than $14,000. 

It also wants a Small Business Mental Health programme to support small businesses. 

Targeted support

Introduce a $100 'dine and discover' voucher to every fully vaccinated adult (18+), which can be spent at any hospitality, accommodation, or tourism business in the country over the next six months.

The UK rolled out a scheme in 2020 where the Government paid 50 per cent of the bill when people ate at a restaurant, pub, or cafe. 

National also want to override any council bylaws to allow hospitality businesses extend outdoor seating into public spaces (if safe and practical). 

Establish a $50 million insurance scheme for major events.

Long term strategy 

Commit to ending lockdowns and open borders under a risk traffic light system at a 85-90 per cent vaccination rate, or on December 1, "whichever comes earlier".

Let fully vaccinated people go to work and attend events and locations such as gyms and restaurants at Level 3.

Make the use of lockdowns a last resort.

Increase the cap on the number of workers who can come to New Zealand under the RSE scheme.

The Government is already set to release its long term plan this Friday , along with a new framework  that utilises Covid vaccination certificates. 

It released a four step plan to open borders from 2022 in August and reconnect 'New Zealanders to the world'.