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No double standards

14 November 2001 Media Statement

No double standards

Revenue Minister Michael Cullen will apply to National and Act the rules they are applying to Police Minister George Hawkins and will in future return to them any letters they send his office on taxpayer specific matters.

In the past, he has referred the letters on to the Commissioner of Revenue for reply although, as Minister, he is unable to become involved in taxpayer specific issues.

Dr Cullen announced the new policy after National and Act MPs criticised Mr Hawkins in the House for referring on to police a letter of complaint concerning police conduct in a particular case on the grounds that the Minister should not get involved in operational issues.

“I am not allowed to interfere in taxpayer specific matters and, since National and Act have now made clear that referring such letters is a form of ministerial direction, I will simply refer them back to the MPs concerned rather than oblige them by referring them on to the Commissioner,” Dr Cullen said.

He said his intention was to point up the double standard.

“The constituents of the MPs are welcome to write to me directly and I will pass their concerns on to the Commissioner,” he said.


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