ZB

Charity calls for Pascoe Group to repay wage subsidy

Author
Newstalk ZB,
Publish Date
Mon, 1 Feb 2021, 4:56pm
The Pascoe Group owns Farmers, Pascoes and Whitcoulls. (Photo / File)
The Pascoe Group owns Farmers, Pascoes and Whitcoulls. (Photo / File)

Charity calls for Pascoe Group to repay wage subsidy

Author
Newstalk ZB,
Publish Date
Mon, 1 Feb 2021, 4:56pm

A charity has made new claims of misuse over the Covid wage subsidy scheme, this time targeting the rich-list owners of retail empire, James Pascoe Group.

Christchurch philanthropists Grant and Marilyn Nelson run the GAMA Foundation, and they've been researching the scheme for months.

They are now taking aim at the couple which own Farmers, Pascoes and Whitcoulls - Anne and David Norman - with claims their businesses have pocketed $35 million in wage subsidies.

The GAMA Foundation says those businesses are likely to have bounced back strongly from Covid, like their retail counterparts Briscoes, The Warehouse and Michael Hill.

Grant Nelson told Heather du Plessis-Allan that they applied for the wage subsidy for 12 weeks but their stores were only closed for five weeks. 

"In addition for that, all of their stores applied for the Auckland resurgence wage subsidy, and they were paid that for their employees right around the country, even though those employees in other areas weren't affected by the Auckland lockdown at all."

Nelson says that the rules were quite loose and it was easy to abuse the scheme during the first lockdown. 

He wants them to pay back that money. 

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