Collins on Coronavirus

Judith Collins writes:

Just three weeks ago, the Minister of Finance told Parliament that although the upcoming Budget would need some “refining”, for the impact of COVID-19, otherwise the economy was “strong”. He bravely said, “Yes, we have to grow jobs”.

He could have said, we are going into a period of financial meltdown, where, as a trading nation, some markets will dissolve. All the relationship building between nations and trading partners will be for nought if we cannot trade.

Three weeks ago, the Prime Minister was still speaking of proceeding with a mass-gathering to commemorate those murdered in the mosque attacks on 15 March, until suddenly, she wasn’t. New Zealand was given a 4-stage COVID-19 response plan and we were at level 2. Then we were at level 3 and two days later we were at level 4 and in lockdown.

Yep the Government has changed tune so quickly. They even changed strategy from mitigation to elimination which was a massive change (and the right one).

We will wait for the second wave of COVID-19 virus and hope that a vaccine will be found soon and available more readily than hand sanitiser is now. Our supply chains will change. We will wonder if we should import product that can be made at the engineering shop down the road. Yes, it’s more expensive but it’s here. We will be more about New Zealand and less about the World.

I think that will be an interesting focus. Should we have domestic capability in areas ranging from personal protective equipment to hand sanitiser. Because when it is a global pandemic, you may not be able to get it from overseas.

We will regret the ‘dob-in’ culture currently being encouraged. We will have lost some respect for the Rule of Law when we see ‘the law’ being made up on the hoof.

Very ugly how people are encouraged to nark on their neighbours etc.

We will look again at Australia and wonder how their government managed to give every business and sole trader a wage subsidy of A$1500 per fortnight of each staff member and we will regret that our government thought that NZ$585 a week would be sufficient to keep us working when the JobSeeker (“the Dole”) already pays up to $428 a week for not working.

The NZ scheme is actually one of the least generous around. The $585 rate means it covers someone earning around $30,000 a year only.

The UK scheme covers 80% of the cost up to NZ$60,000 a year.

The Australian scheme is almost NZ$40,000 a year.

The Canadian scheme is 75% of wages up to NZ $70,000 a year.

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