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IRD staff are people too – even Bob!

PSA press release
9 March

IRD staff are people too – even Bob!

The portrayal of ‘Bob’ as the less than popular tax worker – in Inland Revenue’s $2.8 million advertising campaign only ‘serves to further downgrade the role and value of public servants,’ the PSA said today.

National secretary Richard Wagstaff said he believed the portrayal was ‘unfortunate at best - and probably a fair bit more damaging and cynical than that.’

IRD staff had expressed their concerns to their PSA delegates ‘and given what they have put up with over the last 18 months that is perfectly understandable.

This simply creates a perception that tax workers – and all public servants – are there to ridicule and belittle,’ he said.

‘While the message of tax reform is important there are better ways of doing it than compounding the myth that IRD workers are nerds and some sort of social pariah,’ he said.

PSA delegates have received a lot of comments from staff who are unhappy with what is about to be launched on their televisions on Sunday and IRD’s claims the advertisements were ‘generally popular’ with staff have to be taken very cautiously.

‘We don’t want to be po-faced about this but there is a need for a rebuilding of the average New Zealanders’ understanding and belief in public services.

‘We are not killjoys but we shouldn’t be easy, simplistic targets either,’ Wagstaff said.

For more comment please call Richard Wagstaff on 025 2778131 or the PSA media person Colin Williams on (04) 917 2039 or 025 575839

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