Leader Simon Bridges says if the National Party was in government it would offer GST refunds to small businesses.
In a speech to BusinessNZ ahead of the Government's May 14 Budget, Bridges said New Zealand needs to get cash flowing into small businesses forced to close in the national interest to combat Covid-19. Such businesses have been "left shouldering a disproportionate amount of the economic burden," he said.
“To reduce the damage and to save jobs, National would offer a GST cash refund of up to $100,000 – based off the GST they paid in the six months to 1 January 2020 - to the small businesses most affected. They would need to demonstrate a revenue drop of more than 50% across two successive months due to the lockdown rules," Bridges said.
“We estimate this could benefit up to 160,000 businesses and save countless jobs. If the business paid more than $100,000 in GST over that period, then they would be able to claim up to an additional $250,000 as a repayable loan over five years."
Bridges also said the key to growing the economy is to encourage and incentivise business investment.
“That’s why we would temporarily lift the threshold to expense new capital investment for firms. The Government lifted the threshold from $500 to $5000 as part of its Covid response. We’d go much further and lift it to $150,000 for two years. For example, if a company spends $145,000 on a new machine to improve its productivity, rather than depreciating that asset over many years, it will be able to expense the full $145,000 in this tax year," said Bridges.
“What we do in the next few months is critical to help businesses survive and save jobs."