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Holmes complaint supported by Lockwood Smith

Holmes complaint supported by Lockwood Smith

National Party Revenue spokesman Dr Lockwood Smith is lending his support to Paul Holmes' complaint about nosey IRD staff.

"If unauthorised Inland Revenue Department staff are accessing the personal records of anyone, then heads should roll," says Dr Smith.

He's commenting after claims from a woman who says staff regularly look at the files of personalities, saying Paul Holmes' file had as many as 400 hits last year after his salary was made public.

"This is potentially a gross breach of trust and an abuse of power," says Dr Smith.

"It's particularly concerning when the introduction to IRD's privacy policy is 'we are committed to ensuring that your privacy is protected.'

"All New Zealanders, be they celebrities or the average Kiwi, deserve the right to privacy.

"You'd think the Government might have learned from its mistakes.

"In 2000, one of two IRD staffers was jailed for selling the private details of up to 850 taxpayers to debt collectors.

"At the time, the State Services Commission said 27 public servants had breached departmental procedures on protecting information.

"Then in 2001 WINZ staff were accused of selling information to debt collectors.

"I support Mr Holmes with his complaint.

"If the allegations are true, then it's an activity that needs to be brought to an abrupt end," Dr Smith says.

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