The economic rainy day is here – and it’s pouring


You know that economic rainy day you sometimes hear about? The one where politicians, economic and social commentators talk about having resources and money set aside for a rainy day situation?

Good.

It is here and it is pouring, and the rainfall is going to get worse. Thousands of people are in the process of losing their jobs as COVID19 tries to strangle the life out of the economy, with potentially tens of thousands more to follow. Tourism, hospitality, transport among others are feeling the pinch. A whole swag of supporting industries such as souvenir shops, tourist attractions, travel agents and others are coming slamming to a halt.

This is the time when having a Government that is prepared to spend to get the economy moving and make sure that people are able to afford living costs in an economy where earning opportunities – i.e. work – will be little and far between, is essential. This is the time to look at what one has saved in their rainy day accounts and figure out how best to use it.

We can be grateful here that after a week of bashing the Government’s attempts to address COVID19, the National Party have changed tack and have told the Government that if they open the fiscal wallet, there will not be any partisanship. I hope that New Zealand continues to show unity in the face of COVID19 as partisanship will hobble the response to what is currently the single biggest threat to New Zealand since probably World War 2.

Soon, I suspect – possibly in the next 2 days – New Zealand will see the light and go to a Level Four emergency. At this point the country is going to be effectively shut down for what I hope will be just a couple of weeks, but which may last several weeks. Only the essential places like supermarkets, service stations and pharmacies will be open. Already, not waiting for the Government, local councils have closed all of their facilities indefinitely. The thousands of people who run the museums, the swimming pools, the libraries and art galleries will spend an unknown period of time at home or working on projects that have been shelved whilst New Zealand tries to bring COVID19 to its knees, hoping that soon the public will be able to safely come through their doors again.

Let’s fight COVID19. The sooner we get on with it, the sooner we will be able to reopen.

To take Labour’s 2017 election slogan: #LetsDoThis