“The shift to red settings, restricting gatherings to 100 people, is the same as Alert Level four for the events sector, and they should be given the wage subsidy to compensate,” says ACT Leader David Seymour.

“I have heard constantly in recent days about the losses that event organisers are facing under the shift to red. They range from performers to people providing sound equipment, but they are all devastated because you cannot get more than 100 people together.

“The wage subsidy scheme helped those businesses that lost more than 40 per cent of revenue pay their bills. It ended in December, but the events industry is down 100 per cent under red.

“The Events Transition Support Payment Scheme only applies to events that would have had more than 5,000 people. Even then there are many sub-contractors who do not get compensated if the event does not go ahead.

“A small group of people are now paying critical costs for the Government’s response to COVID. Much as we hate borrowing for COVID, it is not fair that compensation is removed for everyone, but the restrictions still affect some.

“The Government should bring back the wage subsidy for those explicitly affected by the Red traffic light restrictions so that performers, promoters, and the people who do sound equipment can pay the bills and buy their groceries.”

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