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IRD restructuring should go on hold - Hide

Sunday 27th Jun 1999
Rodney Hide
Media Release -- Economy

ACT Finance spokesman Rodney Hide today told a meeting of business people in West Auckland that the restructuring of the IRD should be put on hold awaiting the outcome of the Select Committee Inquiry.

"I will move the motion this Wednesday that the Finance and Expenditure Select Committee recommend that IRD restructuring be put on hold. It's absurd to be charging down the path of reform given the concerns taxpayers and staff have expressed about the present operation of the IRD. I believe that replacing 600 IRD officers with a telephone will just make things worse, not better.

"We need a professional Inland Revenue Department - one that taxpayers and tax collectors alike can be proud of. We haven't got that at the moment.

"We need an independent board of directors brought in to sort out the Department. This board should be made up of professionals and business people. We need an IRD leadership that will listen to what taxpayers and IRD staff are saying.

"Last week we heard from ex-IRD officer Terry Brady who explained how the IRD hierarchy just deny the facts of any complaint. Mr Brady was Team Leader - Head Office Correspondence. He said, "In respect to taxpayers writing to the Commissioner with legitimate grievances, this was something that had to be seen. I saw many a person screwed and bent out of shape, possibly for life."

"We are seeing another example of the IRD top team's denial of facts following the allegations by ex-IRD officer Allen Connor and taxpayer Mrs Shirley Johnson. The next day Inland Revenue Commissioner Graham Holland issued a categorical denial of the claims.

"The next week I got rung by the IRD investigator who had just that day been given the job to undertake the investigation. This is typical of the IRD. Announce the result - and then do the investigation.

"These investigations should be done independently of the IRD. Both complaints are complaints more of management than particular staff members. That's not the way they are being treated. The Commissioner and his top team should be sacked. We need an independent Board of Directors brought in to sort out the mess," said Rodney Hide.

ENDS

For more information visit ACT online at http://www.act.org.nz or contact the ACT Parliamentary Office at act@parliament.govt.nz.


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