COVID-19: Reserve Bank predicts 150,000 job losses

by Roxanne Libatique15 May 2020

New Zealand has moved from Alert Level 3 to Alert Level 2, however, the Reserve Bank warns that the country still needs to face the impacts of the pandemic on the economy and various markets – including the possibility of 150,000 job losses over the next six months.

The Reserve Bank of New Zealand (RBNZ)’s latest data revealed that lockdown restrictions would still make it difficult for businesses to operate profitably even at Alert Levels 2 or 1, leading to around 150,000 job losses over the next six months.

“This is a devastating prediction and emphasises the very real need for a government with a credible economic plan to steer New Zealand through,” said Paul Goldsmith, the finance spokesperson for the National Party.

“These figures come on top of the 1,000 people a day who have gone on to the unemployment benefit during [the] lockdown. “We must do everything we can to reduce the economic damage, by allowing Kiwis to get back to work as soon as they can.”

Goldsmith advised the government to carefully consider each financial decision because “every cent will have to be paid off with higher taxes and by future generations.”

“Thousands of more people joining the dole queue will make it much harder for those people to pay their mortgage, put food on the table or pay their bills. We know big spending will be needed in tomorrow’s Budget to support businesses and save jobs, but we must not dig the hole deeper than it needs to be,” he said.

“National has a plan to rebuild our economy and a track record of managing New Zealand through times of economic crisis.”

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