INDEPENDENT NEWS

Public Policy Prescription For A Pandemic

Published: Thu 26 Mar 2020 02:08 PM
Mixing the New Zealand Initiative’s research with ideas from dozens of the largest Kiwi firms, the think tank has produced a comprehensive touchstone document on the best range of Covid-19 policy responses.
Written by the Initiative’s chief economist Eric Crampton, with research assistance from Leonard Hong, Effective Treatment: Public policy prescription for a pandemic warns that without sound, quick and careful policy adjustments implemented by the Government, New Zealand risks slipping into a deep recession.
“Unless effective treatment for the novel coronavirus Covid-19 emerges quickly, the world faces not only misery but economic depression. New Zealand will be immune to neither. The uncertainties of the pandemic will compound the normal economic uncertainties of a downturn,” Dr Crampton said.
He said the Government must directly boost capabilities in the health sector while providing the kind of appropriate economic support for a temporarily self-isolating and shuttered country.
“However, uncertainty about the duration of the crisis makes deciding on the most suitable policy difficult,” Dr Crampton added.
The Government has already enacted a wage subsidy scheme to support struggling Kiwis suddenly out of work and avoid companies collapsing from lack of revenue during the mandatory lockdown weeks. It has kept essential services open.
The 17-page report suggests a range of useful measures the Government could adopt either as compliments to its existing approaches, or as upgrades.
Dr Crampton suggests boosting the health sector’s equipment and capabilities by putting out a broad call for assistance from anyone with sufficient medical expertise. Many other ideas are included, such as:Continue and enhance the Government’s methods of wage support to help protect the most vulnerable New Zealanders;Adopt a similar model to Germany’s short-time work support policy so that firms do not have to lay-off large swathes of their staff;Combine the 2019/20 tax years and temporarily suspend PAYE (pay as you earn) collection;Modify the student loan programme to help bridge any income gaps among students;Suspend all non-pandemic related regulatory changes.
“The Government should also borrow the funds it needs to get through while maintaining its disciplined approach to spending lines not related to the pandemic."
“We have made earlier drafts of this report available to Ministry officials, to Minister Robertson, and the Opposition,” Dr Crampton said.
Read more:
Effective Treatment: Public policy prescription for a pandemic is available here.

Next in Business, Science, and Tech

Funding For R&D; In New Zealand – Expert Reaction
By: Science Media Centre
COVID-19: NZ Joins Global Initiative Keeping Ports Open And Freight Moving
By: Maritime New Zealand
National Backs Businesses With $10k JobStart
By: New Zealand National Party
Government Exempts Some Home Improvements From Costly Consents
By: New Zealand Government
The New Zealand Herald Named Newspaper Of The Year, Website Of The Year At Voyager Media Awards
By: New Zealand Media and Entertainment
ASB Takes The Lead Again With New Low Home Loan Interest Rate
By: ASB Bank
The Problems With Testing And Case Statistics For Covid-19
By: Nathan Hoturoa Gray
Fletcher Building to lay off 1000 staff in New Zealand
By: RNZ
Driving prompt payments to small businesses
By: New Zealand Government
On Why We Should Legally Protect The Right To Work From Home
By: Gordon Campbell
Supporting Kiwi businesses to resolve rent disputes
By: New Zealand Government
Understanding 5G Concerns – Expert Q&A;
By: Science Media Centre
Record Monthly Surplus As Imports Dive
By: Statistics New Zealand
Bar reopening night 'much, much quieter'
By: RNZ
New Zealand’s population passes 5 million
By: Statistics New Zealand
View as: DESKTOP | MOBILEWe're in BETA! Send Feedback © Scoop Media