The government has to date spent NZ$1.1 billion responding to the two earthquakes that hit Canterbury on September 4 and February 22, Prime Minister John Key says.
"Around NZ$800 million of this has been for residential claims paid out by EQC, around NZ$175 million has been spent on wage subsidy and job loss cover packages so far," Key told journalists at his regular post-cabinet press conferrence this afternoon.
"There are a number of other spending areas I won’t detail here today, but obviously there’s a lot more spending to come," Key said.
Meanwhile EQC now had 282,000 claims on their books from both quakes, Key said. EQC covers the first NZ$100,000 plus GST worth of damage for private dwellings.
Meanwhile, Key said the latest figures he had seen showed the expected fall in the government’s tax take from previous forecasts was just under NZ$5 billion over five years due to the quakes.
“I think originally the estimates were NZ$3-NZ$5 billion, I don’t off the top of my head have the numbers to hand, but NZ$5 billion’s definitely on the high side," Key said.
(Updates with comment on tax take, video of Key.)