MIQ shouldn’t operate under an honesty system

The Government should be doing more to make sure people who use our MIQ facilities are paying what they owe in a timely manner, National’s COVID-19 spokesperson Chris Bishop says.

National has figures which show the Government was owed almost $7 million in overdue invoices from MIQ guests, with more than $3.5 million owed by guests who stayed in MIQ last year.

“Right now the Government is operating MIQ under an honesty system.

“It’s taking months for invoices to be issues for stays in MIQ, and then people have a further three months to pay on top of it. It’s a very lax system.

“The Government should be chasing people up who haven’t paid their MIQ fees.

“Some easy changes would be for MIQ facilities to take credit cards up front 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.

“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.

“We’ve been operating MIQ facilities for close to a year now, and the Government has been saying for months that it’s been taking a range of advice on how to improve debt collection methods, but so far there has been no changes to the system.

“Hotels don’t run honesty systems, the Government shouldn’t run one either.”

You can read the Written Parliamentary Question outlining how many invoices have been left unpaid here.