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Research Results

New Zealanders’ main priority: getting back to work

14 May 20

New Zealanders’ main priority: getting back to work
Direct COVID-19 job losses could be factor behind stimulus results

New Zealanders overwhelmingly want economic stimulus measures which get people back to work.

A Horizon Research survey of policies to stimulate the economy finds 79% support “getting people back to work”.

This equates to support by an estimated 2,830,000 adults.

The second most supported policy is giving people a lump sum cash payment (50%), equivalent to around 1,797,600 adults.

The third ranking measure was to build affordable housing (48%), followed by

  • Household rent subsidies (47%)
  • Lower tax rates for individuals (43%)
  • Reintroducing low interest 30-year Government housing loans (40%)
  • Continuing wage subsidies (40%)
  • Large infrastructure projects (40%)
  • Commercial rent subsidies (37%)
  • Removing GST on purchases for a period of time (35%)
  • Further benefit increases (34%)
  • Increases in top levels of personal income tax (32%), and
  • Lower taxes for business (30%).

Direct job and income losses

Horizon says the concern over getting back to work, and support for a lump sum cash payment, may reflect other findings of the survey:

  • 179,800 adults say they have lost their jobs as a direct result of COVID-19 (although 31,900 of them have found a new job) and a further
  • 794,600 adults say their working hours have been reduced (as at April 30).  In total, a nett 942,500 of the country’s 3,515,300 adults say their jobs or working hours have been impacted.

At the same time

  • 1.4 million have not lost their jobs or income, and
  • 1.2 million were not working before the COVID-19 threat emerged.

Results are from an April 28-30 survey of 1,151 members of Horizon’s specialist online research panels representing the New Zealand adult population at the 2018 Census.  At a 95% confidence level, the maximum margin of error is +/- 2.9% overall.

Detailed results are available from Horizon Research.

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Grant McInman, Manager, email telephone 021 076 2040

Graeme Colman, Principal, Horizon Research, email telephone 021 848 576