Parliament

Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search

 

Oral Question: Inland Revenue Department

Oral Question: Inland Revenue Department--Tax Collection Procedures

Wednesday 16th Jun 1999

Rodney Hide

Media Release -- Economy

9. RODNEY HIDE (ACT NZ) to the Minister of Revenue: Has he any concerns that IRD officers with hardened attitudes may be driving taxpayers to suicide by the over-vigorous pursuit of debt; if not, why not?

Hon. BILL ENGLISH (Minister of Revenue): I am, of course, concerned *about any suggestion that the actions of a Government agency may drive a person to suicide, though I do not accept the assertions at their face value. Some of the taxpayers to whom reference has been made have been pursued by other creditors, as well as by the Inland Revenue Department. In some cases the department has been invited by other creditors to pursue the bankruptcy proceedings on their behalf. Both of these things tell us that these people have been running businesses that have been failing. So that may be a contributing factor to their personal distress.

Rodney Hide: Would the Minister change his answer if he were to learn that it is being claimed that an Inland Revenue Department officer was responsible for five taxpayers killing themselves and that the officer had bragged around the office that this showed how good he was at his job?

Hon. BILL ENGLISH: I would be concerned about any such assertion, but I also suggest to the member that such allegations in no way make it credible. In any number of similar allegations the facts have not stood up to anything like the interpretation the member tends to put on them.

Mark Peck: Is the Minister concerned that the culture within the department is such that taxpayers with problems are having extreme difficulty in getting them resolved; if so, what will the Minister do to ensure that his staff start to treat taxpayers like people?

Hon. BILL ENGLISH: Again I would be concerned if there is a perception of unfairness, or that the department is not dealing with people in an even-handed way. But I also remind the House, as I have with a number of these questions, that the job of collecting tax from those who are reluctant to pay, or from those whose business is failing, is not an easy one. In fairness to all those taxpayers who extend their overdraft, sell stock, or mortgage their house in order to meet their obligations, the Inland Revenue Department has to be firm and consistent with all taxpayers.

Ian Revell: Is the Minister confident that the Finance and Expenditure Committee inquiry will come up with practical recommendations about some Inland Revenue Department attitudes and practices?

Hon. BILL ENGLISH: I am confident that the inquiry will--it is being well chaired. The committee is likely to come up with useful recommendations provided it carefully weighs up the important balances that we need to preserve in the tax system between consistency and discretion, between firmness and fairness. I hope that members of that committee will continue to pursue those issues with the diligence they have and not get too distracted by wild allegations or old vendettas with the department.

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The Peters/Ardern Triumph

There are a lot of good reasons to feel joyful about this outcome. It is what so many young voters – the best hope for the country’s future – wanted.

Far more important than the implications for the Economy Gods ( is the dollar up or down? ) last night’s outcome will also mean many, many vulnerable New Zealanders will have a better life over the next three years at least.

Yet the desire for change was in the majority, across the country..>>>More


Reaction

Labour on its agreement |Peters: Post-Election Announcement Speech | Greenpeace “cautiously hopeful” about new Government | ACT - Madman on the loose | E tū ecstatic | Chamber welcomes the outcome | Greens on their joining Govt | EDS welcomes new govt | Immigrant groups worry | Feds ready to engage new coalition government | Labour Ministers of the Crown announced

 

Climate: Increasing Greenhouse Emissions Hit NZ

New Zealand is seeing impacts of excess greenhouse gas emissions in our climate and oceans, according to the latest national report from the Ministry for the Environment and Stats NZ about the state of the atmosphere and climate…More>>

ALSO:


Wellington.Scoop: Arrests At Blockade Of "Weapons Expo"

“We encourage people in Wellington to get down to the Westpac Stadium now for a day of awesome peace action. There will be plenty of food, music and activities to keep us sustained through the day.” More>>

ALSO:

Rorschach Restructuring: PSA Taking Inland Revenue To Court Over Psychometrics

The Public Service Association will be seeing Inland Revenue in Employment Court over its intention to psychometrically test employees reapplying for their roles at the department as part of its controversial Business Transformation restructuring plan. More>>

ALSO:

Nuclear Disarmament: Nobel Peace Prize 2017 Awarded To ICAN

Congratulations from iCAN Aotearoa New Zealand to international iCAN, the other iCAN national campaigns and partner organisations, and the countless organisations and individuals who have worked so hard for a nuclear weapons-free world since 1945. More>>

ALSO:

Expenses: Waikato DHB CEO Resigns

An independent inquiry has identified that Dr Murray had spent more than the agreed $25K allocated for relocation costs, and other unauthorized expenses involving potential financial breaches of the chief executive’s obligations. More>>

ALSO:

Wellington.Scoop: Sad About The Trolley Buses?

The Regional Council’s MetLink is today spending money to tell us that it really loves Wellington’s trolley buses, even though they’re all being taken off our roads by the end of this month. More>>

ALSO:

Post-Election: Preliminary Coalition Talks Begin

New Zealand First will hold post-election preliminary discussions in Wellington with the National Party tomorrow morning and the Labour Party tomorrow afternoon. More>>

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election