The Government’s proposal to introduce very limited border charging for managed quarantine is little more than spin and highly disrespectful of New Zealanders who think there should be a higher level of cost recovery, National’s COVID-19 Border Response spokesperson Gerry Brownlee says
Colmar Brunton polling showed that 75 per cent of New Zealanders support National’s proposal to substantially charge returnees.
“The Government’s proposals are lightweight and soft.
“The cost for managed isolation is blowing out. Earlier we were told the cost was around $4000 per quarantine stay, that figure is now $5700 per stay. By the end of the year the Government expects to spend more than $479 million on managed quarantine.
“Annualised that figure approaches a billion dollars. There is no end in sight for managed quarantine, so no end in sight for that cost to taxpayers.
“Labour’s proposal will recover less than $10 million through the legislation they’re planning to put through Parliament this week.
“That’s pathetic. It’s insulting to the hundreds of thousands of New Zealanders out of work, the hundreds of thousands on reduced incomes, and the 480,000 still on the wage subsidy. On whom these costs will fall.
“National announced on 19 July that we would introduce substantial cost recovery at $3000 per head, graduated for families, with very few exceptions. We will introduce the more substantial charge from 3 October.
“Currently taxpayers are funding a long and very expensive government response to let people come into the country. It’s entirely fair that those who benefit pay a share.”
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