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IRD should hold the phone before cutting jobs

IRD should hold the phone before cutting jobs
19 JULY 2017

The Inland Revenue’s expected announcement to cut at least 1500 jobs later today is baffling, given news they don’t even have enough staff to pick up their phones, says the New Zealand Taxpayers’ Union.

Earlier this week, the Taxpayers' Union released official data that shows up to 55% of calls from taxpayers are being rejected by the IRD because it does not have enough staff rostered on to answer the phones.

Researcher Matthew Rhodes says, “The IRD should hold off with its proposed job cuts, until it can promise taxpayers that when they call, enough staff are there to pick up the phones.”

On three days alone in May, over 65,000 callers were disconnected because of under resourcing – they didn’t even make it to the hold music. That 65,000 represents over 55% percent of people who called IRD on those three days.

“Whilst the IRD are justifying the cuts by claiming they are moving to digital platforms, our data shows the demand for the taxman to be available by phone is still significant, and it far outweighs the Department’s current resources. Job losses in this environment are gobsmacking.”

"These problems with the phones also came on top of significant downtime of the IRD's website earlier in the year. This suggests the Department’s faith in its digital platforms may be misguided.”

More information about recent clocked phones at the IRD is available at: http://www.taxpayers.org.nz/calling_ird.

ends

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