COVID-19 Response and Recovery Fund
The Budget formally establishes a $50 billion COVID-19 Response and Recovery Fund (CRRF). This fund builds on the $12.1 billion package outlined above to progress further measures and address COVID-19 related spending. As at 20 April we have already committed $10.7 billion through the CRRF, including:
- $6.9 billion to extend the Wage Subsidy Scheme beyond the initial funding announced on 17 March
- a Business Tax Relief Package of $1.9 billion
- $186 million across the education sector, to support distance learning and help students continue their studies during lockdown, and
- a number of other packages to support the short-term response of the health, aviation and social sectors.
Work is under way to progress further initiatives and packages through the fund to provide additional support to those who have been most affected by COVID-19. This includes boosting job creation through support for infrastructure, conservation, employment schemes and skills training. It also focuses on vulnerable populations across New Zealand and industries and sectors that have lost their funding base as a result of COVID-19, such as arts, sport, racing and domestic tourism. In line with our commitment to put the wellbeing of New Zealanders at the heart of everything we do, the Government continues to apply a wellbeing lens and framework when assessing spending proposals submitted to the CRRF. The first tranche of these packages will be announced alongside the Budget. Further announcements will be made over the coming weeks and months as we kickstart the economy and rebuild with a focus on a better New Zealand.
Additionally, the core of our Budget package complements our response to, and recovery from, COVID-19. The package provides more than $3 billion in operating funding per year to ensure core government services can continue to support New Zealanders through this extraordinary time.