Matariki Tax no holiday for businesses

Thu, 07 Apr, 2022

“The new Matariki public holiday represents a $450 million tax that will be the final straw for some businesses,” says ACT’s Small Business spokesperson Chris Baillie.

“As ACT has been saying ever since Jacinda first mooted the ludicrous idea in September 2020, if Matariki becomes a public holiday than another one needs to be abolished to ensure businesses aren’t taking on more costs.

“MBIE told the Government the holiday will cost businesses $450 million. Even with businesses still suffering as a result of unworkable rules and a recession on the cards, the Government can’t resist forging ahead with yet another ideological attack on middle New Zealand.

“The list of new costs small businesses have been asked to bear is extraordinary: minimum wage increases, so-called Fair Pay Agreements, an employment insurance scheme, watered down 90-day trials, extended paid parental leave, the provision for domestic violence leave, and a $1 billion bill for extending sick leave from five to 10 days a year.

“This Government is being reckless with the country’s ability to pay its way. Business owners will be wondering what on earth they’ve done to deserve this Government.

“One of Jacinda Ardern’s arguments for the extra holiday – that New Zealand has fewer public holidays many members of the OECD – doesn’t wash.

“We might have slightly fewer holidays than the OECD average, but we rank well behind most OECD countries for productivity – the fifth lowest. Another holiday won’t improve that.

“ACT will stand up for New Zealand businesses. We will:

- Reverse the Government’s workplace relations changes, including Matariki, or swap it for one of the other existing statutory holidays
- Reverse new sick leave entitlements
- Reinstate 90-day trials for all businesses
- Pause minimum wage increases for three years

“ACT has employers’ backs. We know they need tax and regulation relief and will fight on their behalf for more sensible, sustainable economic policies so they can grow their businesses and employ more New Zealanders.”