Ardern “angry” at business for axing jobs because of her lockdown

The Herald reports:

Prime Minister says she’s “angry” with Group after it announced at least 1000 jobs will be axed.

The country’s largest retailer, which took almost $52 million from the wage subsidy to cover about 8500 workers, yesterday said it would be closing six more stores and cutting 130 people from its headquarters.

The wage subsidy scheme is due to end tomorrow.

Ardern told RNZ this morning the Warehouse had promoted itself as being “in the community and for the community”.

“I’m angry. If I’m speaking frankly.”

What an appalling thing to say.

The PM personally intervened to ensure The Warehouse was not classified as an essential business and had to stay closed during Level 4.

Almost all retailers have had a huge drop in revenue. If you have less revenue, you can’t afford to employ as many people. This is pretty basic stuff, but I guess the PM knows better.

Herald business editor Hamish Rutherford notes:

Maybe raising the minimum wage in the middle of a pandemic and recession turned out to be a stupid idea after all. Maybe the PM should be angry at herself, not at the businesses who are victims of the recession.

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