News from Louise - Join me Live tonight, 8pm

I will be going live tonight, Tuesday, 24 August 2021, at 8pm on Facebook to reflect on issues being raised by many of you and yesterday's announcement. It will be great if you can join me and share your thoughts, concerns and ideas. 

Businesses can now apply for Wage Subsidy and Resurgence Support Payment (RSP)

As of today, Tuesday 24 August 2021, businesses that have seen a 30 per cent drop in revenue since Tuesday last week due to the Covid lockdown will be able to start applying for the Resurgence Support Payment. Businesses can already apply for the Wage Subsidy August 2021 payment. 

The Wage Subsidy August 2021 is a payment passed through to employees. You can apply for a contribution towards your employees' wages (or yourself, if you are self-employed) for two weeks. The wage subsidy payment is $600 a week for each full-time worker (20 hours a week or more) and $359 a week for part-time workers retained. Application is through the Ministry of Social Development and is $600 per week for each full-time worker (20 hours or more) and $359 a week for part-time workers retained. The subsidy is available at alert levels 3 and 4, and you will need written permission from your employees to apply for the wage subsidy on their behalf.

The Resurgence Support Payment is a payment that businesses can use to pay other expenses like rent if they face at least a 30 per cent reduction of revenue due to an alert level increase to alert level 4. Eligible businesses can apply through Inland Revenue for a payment of up to $1500 plus $400 per full-time equivalent employee up to a maximum of 50 full-time employees, while sole traders can receive up to $1900.

Suspension of Parliament is wrong

The Prime Minister has unilaterally decided she is suspending Parliament, thereby impacting MPs abilities to ask her questions directly and hold her to account for decisions on our behalf. It is now that we need to be able to exercise our democratic right to ask questions, and by shutting down our ability to do so directly, the Prime Minister's decision is mind-boggling and avoids scrutiny of her Government's actions.  Read Leader Judith Collins' press release.  

Vaccination target vital to avoid future lockdowns

The Prime Minister came on the AM show this morning and said she doesn't believe in setting vaccination targets. She feels that people will have a 'she'll be alright' attitude and not get vaccinated if there was a target. We've said that New Zealand needs to set at least a 70-75 per cent target of eligible New Zealanders to avoid future countrywide lockdowns. In addition, our slow start to the vaccination programme means that many frontline and essential workers have to turn up to their jobs without vaccination. Leader Judith Collins share her thoughts on this issue here.  

Rural NZ is being bombarded with pointless and onerous regulations and rules

Labour's latest regulatory hurdle for rural water schemes shows it is deeply out of touch with provincial New Zealand, National's Rural Communities spokesperson Barbara Kuriger and Local Government spokesperson Christopher Luxon said.

The Three Waters reform debacle is already a direct attack on local democracy and now the Water Services Bill that will see rural water schemes that supply water, for example, between a farmhouse, dairy shed, and worker's house targeted. The potential compliance cost and administrative burden for farmers will be significant. National will be opposing the reforms until issues are addressed, and we have launched a petition against the Water Services Bill. More information on this here.  

Lack of MIQ capacity for skilled dairy farmworkers

The latest lockdown could not have come at a worse time for dairy farmers who have started calving their cows. Farmers are telling me they are working extremely long hours because there aren't enough workers, placing additional strain on farming families already under the pump. My colleague Joseph Mooney MP has launched a petition seeking 500 allocated MIQ capacity for skilled dairy farmworkers. More on this here