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Resurgence Support Payments Bill introduced

February 16, 2021

Resurgence Support Payments Bill introduced

The Taxation (COVID-19 Resurgence Support Payments and Other Matters) Bill was introduced to Parliament today and is expected to be passed under urgency.

The Bill enables Inland Revenue to administer the new COVID-19 resurgence support payments (CRSP) scheme, which is a one-off support payment to businesses in the form of a grant. The payment would consist of a base amount of $1,500 per applicant plus $400 per full-time equivalent (FTE) up to a cap of 50 FTEs.

The Bill also increases the minimum family tax credit (MFTC) threshold for the 2021–22 and later tax years from $29,432 to $30,576 per annum.

An excerpt from the Minister of Finance’s Media statement

Legislation will be introduced under urgency today to set up a new Resurgence Support Payment for businesses affected by any resurgence of COVID-19.

“Since the scheme was announced in December we have decided to make a change to the payment – reducing the time over which a revenue drop is assessed from 14 days to seven,” Grant Robertson said.

“We acknowledge the concerns of the business community about Alert Level rises and have made this change as we want to get money out the door quickly to affected businesses.”

Firms that experience a 30 percent drop in revenue over a 7-day period will be eligible. The payment would include a core per business rate of $1500 plus $400 per employee up to a total of 50 FTEs ($21,500).

“A decision on whether this support will come into effect will be made if there is an extension to the seventy-two hour increase in alert levels announced on Sunday night. If it does come into effect it will cover the initial 72 hour Alert Level rise as well,” Grant Robertson said.

The Government has a package of support available, in addition to this payment, including:

A new Short Term Absence Payment to cover eligible workers needing to stay at home while awaiting a COVID19 test result. This is a one-off payment of $350 to employers to pay workers who need to stay home while awaiting a test or while someone who is their dependent is doing so, in accordance with public health advice. Further information about this payment is available on the MSD website.

The Leave Support Scheme helps businesses to help pay workers (including self-employed) told to self-isolate because of COVID-19. It is paid as a lump sum and covers two weeks per eligible employee at the rates of $585.80 for each employee working 20 hours or more a week and $350 for each employee working less than 20 hours a week.

The Wage Subsidy Scheme will also be available nationally when there is a regional or national move to Alert Levels three and four for a period of seven days. The support will be provided in two weekly payments for the duration of the alert level period, rounded to the nearest fortnight. The Wage Subsidy Scheme has been very effective in keeping people in work so far with more than $14 billion paid out to protect 1.8 million jobs.

Other support includes the enhanced loan products Business Finance Guarantee Scheme, which is available to June 2021 and Small Business Cashflow Scheme.

More information can be found on the COVID-19 website: https://covid19.govt.nz/