“Even a record fall in GDP hasn’t been enough to wake Labour up to the concerns of small businesses,” says ACT’s Associate Small Business spokesperson Toni Severin.

“Small businesses are being bled dry with a higher minimum wage, more sick leave, new domestic violence leave, a new public holiday, “fair pay” agreements, weakened 90-day trials, and more.

“Sick leave will cost businesses almost $1 billion, a higher minimum wage $216 million and 9,000 jobs, and Matariki $450 million.

“With the border still closed, and economic activity falling by a record 2.9 percent last year, one might expect the Government to give productive New Zealanders a breather.

“As a small business owner, I hear stories daily about mentally and financially exhausted businesspeople.

“Today in Parliament, I put questions to Labour Minister Michael Wood and the MP responsible for the new Holidays (Parent-Teacher Interview Leave) Amendment Bill, Terisa Ngobi.

“Neither would acknowledge the impacts of the new costs Labour is piling on the productive sector.

“This Government must stop ignoring businesspeople and cut them some slack.”