Scrutiny continues to hold Minister to account for COVID-19 business support
23rd June 2021
In February, the Economic and International Affairs Scrutiny Panel launched its review of the Government's support for businesses as part of its COVID-19 response.
The Panel received over 30 submissions from small business owners which identified key issues in obtaining assistance from the available Government support packages. The Panel used this information to write an open letter to the Minister for Economic Development, Tourism, Sport and Culture and, in addition, held a public hearing with the Minister and Departmental Officers to question the areas which concerned small business owners. The Minister's response to the Panel's open letter can be found here.
The Panel intended to produce a report with its conclusions but this has proved not to have been possible. The Panel's conclusions have been superseded with the delay in Stage 7 of the reconnection roadmap and the change to travel restrictions. The Panel will continue monitoring the situation and if necessary, call the Minister for an additional public hearing for an update on developments. The Panel will continue questioning the Minister on his policy in this area at regular public hearings.
Chair of the Economic and International Affairs Scrutiny Panel, Deputy David Johnson, said: "It is unfortunate we still find ourselves restricted due to the COVID-19 pandemic; however, as a Panel, we will continue to monitor this rapidly changing situation and will ensure any changes in existing policy are relayed to the public in a timely manner".
Business support packages examined by the Panel during its review include the Payroll Co-funding Scheme; deferral of GST and Social Security contributions; Business Disruption Loan Guarantee Scheme; Visitor Accommodation Scheme; Events and Attraction Scheme; and the Grant Support Scheme.
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