Ferguson displaying rank political opportunism in hardship grants process

Tasmanian Labor

· Government ignoring businesses that missed out on hardship grants

· Labor inundated by small businesses unable to get support

· Michael Ferguson undermining leader with calls to successful applicants

Failed
leadership aspirant Michael Ferguson has been caught out undermining the
Premier by making calls to successful recipients of the Small Business Hardship
Grants program.

Labor
Leader, Rebecca White, said Peter Gutwein was clearly unaware that Michael
Ferguson was making the calls when asked a question in Parliament today.

“Labor
has been inundated with businesses that have missed out on support from the
government and are struggling to survive. Many of them have written to the
Government and have not received a response,” Ms White said.

“Yet,
while those businesses wait for news on whether their grants will be reviewed,
Michael Ferguson has been calling successful applicants in Bass, presumably to
try to claim credit for the support they are receiving from the taxpayer.

“Labor
wants to know how Mr Ferguson – who is not the Minister responsible for this
program – obtained the details of successful grant applicants, and how can he
justify this rank political opportunism when what the Government should be getting on with is assisting businesses that are
struggling to survive.

“The
Premier must commit to a full review of the grants program to ensure a level
playing field for all Tasmanian small businesses and reopen the grants to those who have missed out.

“The Government should support Labor’s COVID-19 Recovery Package which is designed to assist businesses, get Tasmanians back into jobs, help those hardest hit by the pandemic and create a better, fairer and more resilient economy and society.”

Rebecca White MP

Labor Leader

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