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IRD Inquiry Not For Cullen To Decide - Dunne


It Is Not For Cullen To Decide Whether There Will Another Inquiry Into IRD, Says Dunne

United New Zealand leader, Hon Peter Dunne, has reacted angrily to comments by Finance Minister Michael Cullen that there will be no further inquiry into Inland Revenue.

Mr Dunne chaired last year's Finance and Expenditure Committee into IRD and says that any decision about a further inquiry is solely a matter for the Finance and Expenditure Committee to decide, not the Minister of Finance.

"The Government's response to our inquiry, released today, adopts many of our recommendations, but ducks the big issues."

"No decisions have been made on our recommendations to: * Make the Tax Administration Act subordinate to the Privacy Act on matters of the privacy of personal information; * Review use of money interest rules; * Review the IRD's discretion on tax debt write-offs; * Review the preferential status of IRD in liquidation proceedings; * Establish a tax adviser position within the Ombudsman's Office; * Make the Parliamentary Counsel's office responsible for drafting tax legislation."

"As well, the Government has rejected outright our recommendation that IRD have an independent advisory board of directors."

"These 7 recommendations go to the heart of our report, and the Government's failure to date to embrace them, despite committing fully to them while in Opposition, does not give me any confidence that it is serious about making long term improvements to the way IRD operates."

"On that basis, Dr Cullen's rejection of a further inquiry is outrageous," Mr Dunne says.

Mr Dunne says the issue of a further inquiry is before the Finance and Expenditure Committee at present, and that members of the Committee ought to be able to decide that question for themselves, without coercion from Dr Cullen.

ENDS


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