The Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is ‘actively considering’ more public holidays in an attempt to boost domestic tourism.
What planet is she on even contemplating this absurd tax on the economy?
Additional statutory holidays would serve as a regulatory tax on business, suppressing economic recovery, says the New Zealand Taxpayers’ Union.
Union spokesman Louis Houlbrooke says, “The Prime Minister should not be ‘actively considering‘ additional public holidays. Forcing businesses to close, or fork out for time and half plus a day in lieu, will only serve to whack them again. And there’s no guarantee New Zealanders will actually use a statutory holiday to engage in tourism.”
“More broadly, shutting down the economy is an absurd response to an economic crisis. We should be encouraging all New Zealanders back to work, not forcing them to take a day off for the sake of one sector.”
“A better way to support domestic tourism would be to cancel this year’s fuel tax hike, or even cut the tax rate. Make the Kiwi road trip great again.”
We already have four week’s annual leave and 11 statutory holidays.
That’s six working weeks and a day each worker is away, without any sick or bereavement leave.
A business with six staff is paying the equivalent of a staff member who didn’t work for just over half the year.
Adding another day’s holiday won’t necessarily help tourism businesses either. I can’t remember the last time I did anything remotely touristy on a public holiday and tourism businesses that operate on the holiday will not only have to pay staff holiday rates, they’ll have to give them another day off in lieu of the holiday they work.
New Zealand already has a big problem with low productivity, adding an extra day’s holiday would compound that.
It’s easy to be kind with other people’s money. This mad idea wouldn’t quite be killing the economy with kindness but it would do it more harm than good and add yet another hurdle on the road to recovery.