IRD’s Punishment & Fear Culture Still Outstanding

Published: Tue 30 May 2000 03:29 PM
IRD’s “Punishment & Fear” Culture Still Outstanding
ACT Finance spokesman Rodney Hide today welcomed the Government’s response to the Finance and Expenditure Select Committee’s inquiry into the powers and operations of the IRD but warned that the Government’s proposals don’t go far enough.
“There is nothing in this response that would avoid the tragic circumstances that led to Ian Lee Mutton’s suicide – the case that sparked the inquiry in the first place. In fact, there is nothing in any of the Government’s response that would address any of the tragedies that the Committee last year heard about from taxpayers.
“The Committee last year reported that the problem within the IRD was one of culture – that the IRD had a culture of “punishment and fear”. There is nothing in the Government’s response that would see the IRD’s culture monitored and improved.
“I look forward to Government MPs on the Finance and Expenditure Select Committee agreeing to continue the inquiry as recommend by the Committee last Parliament to look in particular at why taxpayers are guilty until proven innocent. That reverse burden of proof is precisely why there is a problem with the IRD’s culture,” said Rodney Hide.

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