Al­most 2000 IRD jobs on the line

East and Bays Courier - - LOCALJOBS - TOM PULLAR-STRECKER

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.

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