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IRD Report: Risks of Capping Rather Public Service

April 3, 2008
For Immediate Use

IRD Report Highlights Risks of Capping Rather Than Investing in the Public Service

The PSA says the risks involved in capping rather than investing in the public service have been highlighted by a report into the error on tax revenue made by Inland Revenue.

The report by Treasury and Inland Revenue follows their investigation into a $600 million calculation error by the IRD’s provisional tax accrual unit. The investigation found that the six staff in the unit were “under considerable pressure of limited resources, high staff turnover and increasing service demands.”

“Inland Revenue is not the only government department or agency where there are staff working hard to deliver a quality service with limited resources,” says PSA National Secretary Richard Wagstaff.

He says other areas of the core public service and wider state sector also face the same problem of retaining and recruiting staff with the necessary skills to do crucial work.

“This is why it’s vital that we continue to invest in our public services,” says Richard Wagstaff.

“It’s also why we have major concerns about the National Party’s policy of capping the number of staff in the core public service.”

National leader John Key says the cap will only apply to staff he labels ‘bureaucrats.’

“But who are these so called bureaucrats?” says Richard Wagstaff.

”Does it include public servants, like those in the provisional tax unit at Inland Revenue, who were struggling with limited resources and finding it difficult to hold onto skilled accounting staff in a highly competative job market?”

“The IRD case shows the risks involved if we put a lid on the public service rather than ensuring it has the resources and skilled staff that it needs,” says Richard Wagstaff.


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