Premier Peter Gutwein continues to insult Tasmanians doing it tough by feigning surprise that only a small number of operators have taken up his government’s woefully inadequate COVID business support package.
Shadow Minister for Small Business Janie Finlay said the Premier’s admission today showed how out of touch he was with those trying to keep their businesses afloat.
“For the businesses that have been impacted on all fronts – with workers away, challenges with supplies and fewer people frequenting businesses – grants of up to $5,000 are not enough,” Ms Finlay said.
“In my conversations with business operators from King Island to Dorset to the Huon, we know that many have been losing thousands of dollars a day.
“Businesses are not bothering to apply for the Premier’s grants because they are too little too late.
“Businesses have had a traditionally strong summer trading period ripped away from them with the government’s decision to open borders without thorough preparation.
“These grants only skim the surface of what is really occurring. In some cases, business operators have used all their reserves and now face closing their doors or trying to sell at a bad time.
“The grants program has to be enough to cover the losses so that business operators have the confidence to keep going.
“Government Business Enterprises could alleviate some pressure now by reducing taxes, bills and registrations.
“The government needs to find out the true cost of the impacts and fund a program that actually makes a difference. Clearly, Peter Gutwein has lost touch with the Tasmanian business community.
“The government had 18 months to prepare and told us they were ready. They weren’t.
“Tasmanians continue to pay for this government’s incompetence.”
Janie Finlay MP
Shadow Minister for Small Business