Law firms repay millions of dollars in unneeded wage subsidies
New Zeland’s largest law firms have paid back the millions of dollars they claimed in Government wage subsidies.
About NZ$10.5 billion (FJ$14.2 b) has been paid to more than 420,000 employers through the scheme, which is being audited by the Ministry for Social Development.
Simpson Grierson has returned its NZ$2.3 million (FJ$3.11m) payout, which it applied for based on a forecast drop in revenue.
It said it is now forecasting a smaller impact and had repaid the subsidy. MiniterEllisonRuddWatts said it is also performing better than forecasted and repaid its NZ$2m (FJ$2.7m) payout.
Bell Gully said it will also give back its NZ$1.8m (FJ$2.43m) payment, following a decision by its board.
The Ministry for Social Development does not have updated figures on audits of the scheme, but said in a statement that in many cases where entitlements had been wrongly claimed, it was due to uncertainty about eligibility criteria, rather than deliberate attempts at deception.
The Ministry said applications for the subsidy are slowing, with the 12-week period it covers due to run out on June 9.