Further to the $150 billion taxpayer guarantee of bank and finance company funds at the Labour party campaign launch, the government today announced that the guarantee would also be extended to restaurant reservations.
"In order to maintain confidence and stability to the hospitality sector, the Labour-led government has seen fit to guarantee all formal dining sectors," said Helen Clark.
The scheme will be funded by a restaurant levy on all tables of five or over, while smaller tables will be covered for free.
"There has been a sharp rise in non-attendance of patrons, as the hard economic times have taken their toll on peoples' wallets," said Tony Staphylococcus, manager of Gia's Halloumi Tavern. "We get people saying they'll be 33 to 35 punters. Only 20 might turn up, and half of them just order garlic bread.It's getting harder and harder to stay profitable."
Helen Clark said the new protections would add a contingent liability of $30 billion more than the proposed deposit guarantee scheme. Helen Clark went on to say that she thought that this was "good value."
"There are limits, due to the need for fiscal restraint," said Clark. "For example, children's birthday parties at McDonalds will be covered but casual and drive-thru patronage will not. Inter-restaurant bookings, when workers from one operation dine at another's, are excluded also.
"Detailed costings, which I have available on this cocktail napkin here, have shown that the scheme is timely, workable and cost-effective."