Former Finance Minister Steven Joyce has warned that many employers will be deciding whether to lay of staff next week, so any further business support cannot wait for the Budget.
In late March the Government announced a massive wage subsidy scheme which lasts 12 weeks, extending to early June.
On Friday, Joyce, a senior minister in the former National government, told Newstalk ZB's Mike Hosking that many contracts required employees to be given four weeks' notice that they would be made redundant.
That meant decisions would be being made well before Grant Robertson delivers the Budget on May 14.
"There's a whole lot of businesses now that, as things stand today, are sitting there saying 'next week I've got to make a decision, because currently from June 7, or whatever it is, I'm on my own', with the cost of payroll falling entirely on the company as government support ended.
"They've got to decide whether to make people redundant with a month's notice, in early May," Joyce said.
"I don't think it's right ... for the Government to say 'we'll do some more in the Budget', that's a political construct ... Normally you'd do that, but right now, these people need to know," Joyce said.
"There's no reason why [Finance Minister] Grant Robertson, if he's got an extension to the wage subsidy planned, or he's got another plan, that he shouldn't come out at the start of next week and tell people what the plan is."
On Thursday, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said she would not make announcements ahead of the Budget.
Robertson is due to give a press conference from the Beehive this afternoon.
Joyce said while he welcomed the move to ease restrictions to allow major industries such as construction, forestry and manufacturing to return to work, there were other major industries which could not operate.
This meant many businesses were unable to operate, through no fault of their own.
"It's not because they don't have enough capital. It's not because they aren't running their business well. You take seven weeks of turnover out of any business and watch what happens."
The Government should either move to level 2 restrictions next week, or explain why they cannot, Joyce said.
"We should be asking the Government why we can't be in level 2 next Monday.
"If they've got a good reason as to why we shouldn't be in level 2 next Monday, then they should say so. But so far [we are] not getting any reasons. All the reasons that have been advanced, all the criteria have been met as far as I understand.
"The only one possibly that's not been met is this contact-tracing issue. Frankly I don't think it's good enough for the whole country to be held up, because the Ministry of Health can't get their act together, if that's actually what's happening."