Parliament

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

 

FEC Report : Victory for all Taxpayers

Media Note: Rodney Hide will hold a press conference on the FEC report at 3.00pm, 13 October at ACT's campaign office level 4, Patent House, 57 Fort Street, Auckland.

ACT Finance Spokesman Rodney Hide said today that the Finance and Expenditure Select Committee’s report into IRD's operation and culture was pleasing for taxpayers but didn’t go far enough in its recommendations.

“ACT for a long time was a lone voice in standing up for taxpayers. We were heavily criticised for highlighting IRD's abuse of powers and “bully boy” culture. We were accused of grandstanding. Now we have a Parliamentary consensus that there is a serious problem with IRD's operation and culture.

“The present Commissioner of Inland Revenue, Graham Holland, must go. A new IRD leadership team is needed to effect the culture change the FEC considers necessary. Mr Holland has worked for the IRD his entire life and has been Commissioner since 1995. The FEC report is a damning indictment of IRD's practice and culture. The sooner the IRD has fresh management – the sooner we can get the IRD back on track.

"I'm disappointed that the Committee didn’t attack the root cause of IRD's problems – that present tax law has taxpayers “guilty until they prove themselves innocent”. The reversed burden of proof is the very cause of the “we’re right, you prove us wrong” culture that infests IRD to such tragic effect.

"Only a minority of committee members recommended re-reversing the burden of proof. But the majority did recommend that IRD's power to make up assessments be limited and that Parliament’s next FEC reconsider the onus of proof as well as other IRD matters.

"The FEC's report makes many substantial and far-reaching recommendations. The key recommendations are:

-Taxpayers can finally access the information the IRD holds on them;
-Electronic "footprint" to track who in the IRD has accessed a taxpayer's file;
-"Humanising" and reducing the penalties regime;
-Time limits on the IRD's responses to taxpayers – until now the IRD's been able to drag out disputes interminably;
-Review preferential status of IRD in liquidations that is having a huge flow-on effect to other businesses;
-Establishment of a taxpayers charter outlining to taxpayers their rights and obligations in respect of the tax system.

”The disappointing thing about the FEC inquiry into the IRD was Winston Peters’ performance. He simply didn’t turn up or contribute. Committee meeting minutes confirm that Winston Peters simply wasn’t there for more than half of the time.

“The other Members of the Committee took the job seriously, heard some of what the IRD and our present laws are doing to small business and working people generally and I am hopeful that at long last Parliament is going to take responsibility for what is happening in the Inland Revenue Department.

“I am very proud to have played a good part in bringing this most powerful department of state to account on behalf of all taxpayers," said Rodney Hide.


ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Werewolf: What Does Winston Peters Want His Legacy To Be?

A lot of people in New Zealand seem to resent Winston Peters and the power that he appears to have. “Appears” being the operative word. In reality, Peters will have power only up to the point that he uses it.

By next week, he’ll have become just another junior player in an MMP governing arrangement, battling to hold onto the gains he was promised. More>>

 

Rising Toll: Road Safety Needs To Be A Higher Priority

Official advice released to the Green Party under the Official Information Act shows that the previous National Government dismissed an option to make road safety its most important transport priority after being told the road toll was rising. 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