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National’s Covid-19 spokesperson, Chris Bishop, has struck heat towards the Government’s Managed Isolation and Quarantine systems in place over money being owed.
Mr Bishop wants clarity according to figures by the National Party that shows around $7m in overdue invoices from MIQ guests who’ve stayed in hotels and not paid. The figures also show around $3.5m is owed by guests who stayed in facilities last year.
He believes that an honesty system is allegedly being used.
“Right now, the Government is operating MIQ under an honesty system,” Mr Bishop said.
“It’s taking months for invoices to be issued for stays in MIQ, and then people have a further three months to pay on top of it. It’s a very lax system.”
He wants to find the people who haven’t paid their fees to pay them by requiring facilities to take credit cards upfront upon arrival or at the booking process before flying to New Zealand.
National has ached to Involve debt collectors without knowing why those refusing to pay are not repaying the charges. It could be for a number of reasons which has been missed out on in the discussion.
“Some easy changes would be for MIQ facilities to take credit cards upfront when people book into MIQ. This is the case already when staying in a hotel, it’s not a foreign concept. The Government should also be using debt collectors to chase the people who are simply refusing to pay,” Mr Bishop said.
“That’s what most people would expect the Government to be doing; at the end of the day, this is taxpayer money, and it should be paid back.”
“Hotels don’t run honesty systems, and the Government shouldn’t run one either.”
Mr Bishop did not add that social services or other means of contact are to be implemented so the Government could improve their service leaving only debt collection of the taxpayer dollar to the responsible without reason.
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