MIQ Slots For Sports Teams And Businesspeople Should Be Auctioned To Highest Bidder
The New Zealand Taxpayers’ Union is calling for the Government to abandon its lobbying-based process for ‘economic’ MIQ allocations in favour of public auctions for these slots.
Union spokesman Louis Houlbrooke says, “Currently, sports teams and businesspeople can jump the queue for MIQ by lobbying a Government agency to sponsor an application based on its imagined economic value.”
“MBIE officials then gaze into a crystal ball to evaluate the economic merits of these applications before doling out MIQ slots to those they consider most deserving – such as the Dutch cricket team.”
“In other words, access to the country hinges on your relationships with Government departments and your lobbying skills. That’s not fair, and it’s economic madness.”
“The application criteria for economic entrants should be scrapped and replaced with a fixed number of MIQ slots that are simply auctioned off to the highest bidder. This would mean MIQ slots go to businesses willing to put their money where their mouth is. The more value applicants expect from their commercial activity, the more they’ll be willing to pay.”
“This change would be a boon for taxpayers. The Government may be surprised to learn how much certain businesses are willing to fork out for profitable cross-border activities. Instead of merely recovering costs, each economic MIQ allocation could generate $5,000 or $10,000 in extra revenue – money that could be used to expand our limited MIQ capacity.”