Government will provide therapy for business owners to help them feel more confident

Numbers notably don't indicate whether it's the business owners or if the businesses themselves are sad.

Numbers notably don’t indicate whether it’s the business owners or if the businesses themselves are sad.

In an attempt to ease plummeting business confidence, the not-Labour-led Government says it plans to spend some of its unexpectedly large surplus on therapy for those business owners who are not feeling so confident right now.

Finance Minister Grant Robertson said he was “deeply saddened” to see how much confidence business owners had lost over the last year, and the Government wanted to do something to help.

“We can’t be sure why business owners have lost so much confidence,” he said. “Maybe they’re really bad at their jobs, maybe their businesses are failing and it’s completely their fault, maybe they’re a waste of space, but during Mental Health Week, it would be negligent for us to leave the problem unaddressed.”

Robertson said the Government would target business owners with the lowest confidence for a “full round” of counseling sessions, and set up a helpline for any other business owners not feeling optimistic about either themselves or the long-term fiscal outlook of the nation’s finances or economic growth.

National has scoffed at the plan, but also said some things about it.

“Really I think most people see this as a bad joke,” said National Party leader and that one wedding guest you can’t quite place Simon Bridges. “It’s not a coincidence that business confidence has fallen since this coalition was formed.”

Bridges said business owners were “feeling sad” because the Prime Minister and others had said “mean things” about them and “made them feel bad about themselves.”

“This government blames businesses for everything. They blame businesses for pollution. They blame businesses for making plastic bags. They blame businesses for carbon emissions. They blame businesses for all kinds of things that businesses do.”

Bridges said it was “incredibly important” not to make businesses feel bad because businesses “make stuff” and they “might stop.”

“I can tell you in my experience that I once spent weeks on end trying to get this one tuft of hair just above the part here, just this one here,” he said, pointing as his head. “I once spent weeks trying to get that to sit left, instead of shooting up, like you can see here, and about halfway through the process, someone in the street said ‘Oi, Simon, fix your hair!’ and that was pretty demoralising, to be honest, and I just stopped. I didn’t try to fix it anymore. It was halfway fixed and they were still being mean, and after a while, what’s the point? Those are the stakes we’re dealing with.”

Bridges said there was a “very good reason” business confidence was measured, because “business owners matter.”

“We don’t measure the confidence of other types of people.”