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Millions to be refunded after wage subsidy audit

Mitchell Redman
COVID 19 Metronews Update v2
COVID 19 Metronews Update  Emma Olsen

$17 million of wage subsidy payments will be repaid after a Government audit has found businesses to be acting unlawfully.

Finance Minister Grant Robertson shared the news at the daily COVID-19 press conference at Parliament this afternoon. 

A team of more than 100 fraud investigators, employed by the Ministry of Social Development, has been reviewing if businesses have used the wage subsidy as specified. 

To date, more than 2400 wage subsidy payments have been audited, with 292 allegations of people or businesses abusing the fund.

1200 employers would have to voluntarily return $16.2 million to the Government, whilst 56 applicants of the fund have been asked to refund $1.25 million. 

"99% of business owners are doing right by their workers in regards to the wage subsidy," Robertson said.

However, he also warned those businesses not doing things properly would be investigated. 

$10.3 billion has been handed out so far under the Government's wage subsidy scheme.