“The Government’s announcement on the wage subsidy today must help businesses on the edge, but investing in better public health would have been ten times cheaper,” says ACT Leader David Seymour.

“The latest lockdown is the result of the Government’s failure around public health. It had a duty to keep New Zealanders safe from the virus and prevent it from creeping back into our community.

“Businesses in my electorate have told me stories about losing millions of dollars. Profits are down for some by around 80 percent and many have to had to freeze or destroy their stock.

“The Auckland market was vital for our domestic tourism industry and now that’s been decimated.

“For businesses on the edge, a subsidy is necessary to keep them going.

“We also need to take a common sense approach and allow businesses that can operate safely to keep their doors open.

“What we can’t have is the Government creating a false economy by endlessly propping up businesses and having the threat of lockdowns looming over us.

“ACT has set out five principles for better public health: stop preaching fear, have an open debate about our national strategy, treat travel to different countries differently based on risk, use better technology, and use private sector solutions for testing, tracing and isolation.

“The Government must improve its public health response so we can avoid future lockdowns and businesses and households can have the certainty they need.”