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Ed Sheeran

Tax free cash for COVID job recovery

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People who lose their jobs because of the global COVID-19 pandemic can qualify for a new temporary benefit while they search for work or retrain.

Finance Minister Grant Robertson and Social Development Minister Carmel Sepuloni says the COVID Income Relief Payment is similar to the Job Loss Cover payment introduced by the previous Government during the Canterbury earthquakes.

It will be available for 12 weeks from 8 June and pay $490 a week tax free to those who lost full-time work and $250 for part-time.

Mr Robertson says the Government won’t be able to save every job or every business, but it is investing to cushion the blow on households and businesses to make sure the country is in the best position to respond, recover and rebuild.

Ministers are also working on the possibility of a more permanent unemployment insurance scheme in New Zealand.

The new scheme is expected to cost $570 million, which includes what would have been saved on benefit payments.

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