$48m of Wage Subsidy Claimed by Southland

In the first week of lockdown, Otago and Southland employers claimed nearly $50m from the wage subsidy scheme.

Data published by the Ministry of Social Development showed that in the week ending August 27, $36m was paid to Otago employers and $12m to Southland employers.

The wage subsidy scheme was re-implemented following the latest Covid-19 outbreak and the national shift to Alert Level 4.

Employers could apply for the subsidy if they could prove a 40 percent drop in revenue over two weeks due to the lockdown.

This year's subsidy is only applicable for two weeks at a time, and businesses requiring further financial support must reapply.

The ministry data shows 33,000 jobs were supported in Otago by the subsidy in the first week of the lockdown, approximately 26 percent of all jobs. In Southland, 11,000 were supported, 21 percent of the workforce.

Nationally, the largest payment went to Auckland, with $250m supporting 229,000 jobs.

Businesses can also access the resurgence support payment from Inland Revenue, a one-off payment based on a 30 percent revenue drop over a seven-day period, which can be used for business expenses.

Under that scheme, businesses can claim $1500 plus $400 per full-time equivalent employee up to a maximum of 50 full-time employees.