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Cabinet paper

Cabinet Paper CAB-21-SUB-0458: Wage Subsidy August 2021 scheme: Second six-week review

Issue date: 
Wednesday, 23 February 2022
View point: 
Document Date: 
Thursday, 4 Nov 2021
Publication category: 
Ministerial Portfolio: 
Social Development and Employment

Accessible HTML version

Only the Proposal, Relation to government priorities and Executive Summary sections of this Cabinet paper are extracted below in HTML. If you require a full HTML version please contact [email protected] and cite CAB-21-SUB-0458 as a reference.

Cabinet Paper CAB-21-SUB-0458: Wage Subsidy August 2021 scheme: Second six-week review


1Cabinet invited the Ministers of Finance and Social Development and Employment to report back on the ongoing availability and settings of the COVID-19 Wage Subsidy August 2021 (WSSAUG21) scheme every six weeks should it remain open at that point [CVC-21-MIN-0004 refers].

2Joint Ministers recommend that Cabinet agree the WSSAUG21 should continue to be available for a further six weeks, should Alert Level 3 or higher continue to remain in place anywhere in New Zealand over that time period.

Relation to government priorities

3This proposal supports the Government’s overarching objective to keep New Zealanders safe from COVID-19, including by protecting jobs and livelihoods, and strengthening the economy. It does so by ensuring financial support remains in place for businesses and individuals for the current COVID-19 outbreak, with the aim of limiting the economic and social impacts during a pivotal point in our COVID response as we transition to the new COVID-19 Protection Framework.

Executive Summary

4The WSSAUG21 opened on 20 August 2021 and businesses have been able to apply for six, two-weekly payments so far. This Cabinet paper is the second six-week report back on the availability and settings of the WSSAUG21 scheme as requested by Cabinet, and seeks Cabinet authorisation to the ongoing operation of the scheme, including:

4.1Seeking confirmation that the scheme will continue with the same settings as agreed by Ministers with Power to Act [CVD-21-MIN-0004 refers] and Cabinet [CAB-21-MIN-0392 refers], with relevant changes only to the revenue test period, as required.

4.2Clarifying the timing of payments going forward, with Payment seven opening for applications on 12 November 2021, and subsequent payments every two weeks if Alert Level 3 or 4 remains in place on the applicable trigger dates, subject to decisions on the transition to the 2 COVID-19 Protection Framework. This would provide WSSAUG21 coverage up to 23 December 2021.

4.3Re-confirming Joint Minister delegations to make decisions on minor and technical matters related to the ongoing operation of the WSSAUG21.

4.4Approving additional funding and updating the Joint Minister delegations to draw down WSSAUG21 funding from the COVID-19 Response and Recovery Fund (CRRF).

4.5Agreeing a proposed approach to completing an open WSSAUG21 payment for regions that transition to the COVID-19 Protection Framework.

5[33] It notes that further decisions by Cabinet will be needed over the next six weeks on the Wage Subsidy, [33] and establishes the following report-backs:

5.1The Minister of Finance will report back to Cabinet later in November on managing the Wage Subsidy during the transition to the COVID-19 Protection Framework (CPF) as part of a paper on the broader economic supports under the new Framework. [33]

5.2Should the WSSAUG21 remain open, Joint Ministers will provide a third six-weekly review of the WSSAUG21 by 13 December, covering arrangements for the Wage Subsidy if required over the Christmas Period. This paper will also fulfil Cabinet’s previous request for a six monthly review on general Wage Subsidy availability and settings [CAB- 21-MIN-0254 refers].

[Extract ends]

Last updated: 
Wednesday, 23 February 2022