Almost 2000 IRD jobs on the line
The IRD plans to cut almost 2000 jobs, and has briefed staff on changes to hundreds of roles that will kick in next year.
The tax department currently employs 5647 staff, but expects to employ only 3700 people by 2021, a previously-secret budget document supplied to a select committee shows.
The Public Services union (PSA) said in a statement that as many 4000 employees at the tax department would see their jobs change as a result of a final proposal that was put to staff across the country on Wednesday afternoon.
‘‘Make no mistake – this proposal contains future commitments to reduce IRD’S workforce by 30 per cent by 2021, and this is the first step in accomplishing that,’’ PSA national secretary Erin Polaczuk said.
Inland Revenue closed its doors on Wednesday afternoon to brief staff on its plans.
Commissioner Naomi Ferguson said its 3300 customer-facing staff were all being offered or confirmed in new roles at the department. But about 900 other staff would see their jobs change, with a reduction in management and more roles for specialists.
The tax department signalled last year that it expected to cut about 1500 jobs between 2018 and 2021.
The forecast released by Parliament’s
‘‘Today was about upskilling our staff for the future’’ Naomi Ferguson
Finance and Expenditure select committee indicated the cuts would go deeper and would start on a small scale next year, before kicking in strongly in 2019.
But Ferguson said Wednesday’s briefing was not about job cuts.
‘‘Today was about upskilling our staff for the future; it was about changing our organisation so we can better meet the needs of our customers.’’
Labour savings from its $1.9 billion Business Transformation programme were still expected to come in at about 1500 jobs, she said.
The additional projected job losses reflected the impact of temporary programmes to increase tax compliance coming to a close.
However, it was possible those programmes would receive fresh funding that would allow them to continue, she said.
Polaczuk said the final proposal put to staff on Wednesday contained ‘‘a lot of vague, corporate rhetoric’’.
It showed the department had ‘‘not taken the concerns of over 3000 PSA members into account’’, Polaczuk said.