'Ethically wrong' for profitable companies to not pay back wage subsidy

Author
Newstalk ZB,
Publish Date
Thu, 17 Sep 2020, 6:57PM
Nick Mowbray. (Photo / Supplied)

'Ethically wrong' for profitable companies to not pay back wage subsidy

Author
Newstalk ZB,
Publish Date
Thu, 17 Sep 2020, 6:57PM

An entrepreneur is urging profitable companies who took the wage subsidy to pay the money back.

A number of companies have declared profits in the millions, despite taking the wage subsidy.

Zuru co-founder Nick Mowbray told Heather du Plessis-Allan the intent of the scheme was not to prop up corporate profits.

He says it was meant for the smaller business owner who couldn't operate during the pandemic.

"If some of these companies, and many of them aren't even reporting drops in revenues, are still claiming the subsidy, I think it is just ethically wrong."

He says there is certainly an argument for the scheme not being designed correctly, but the country was in a situation that wasn't expected and the scheme had to be rushed through. 

Mowbray says that businesses such as retirement villages are not going anywhere so they shouldn't be able to claim a wage subsidy.

There is a strong possibility that some companies rejigged their accounts to qualify, Mowbray says. 

"I think there will be many businesses, both small and large, that have done that." 

Overseas based companies such as Estee Lauder and Haier were able to take the wage subsidy and take the money offshore, Mowbray says.