The ODT reports on a spat between Labour’s David Clark and Minister of Revenue Peter Dunne.
Revenue Minister Peter Dunne has taken a hard line with Dunedin North MP David Clark, labelling his criticism of Inland Revenue as mischievous, ill-informed and “downright ignorant”.
“He is playing typical Opposition politics and adding one and one and quite deliberately getting five,” Mr Dunne said.
Clark began with a press release: IRD’s 20-year-old system needs upgrade.
He’s right about that, plans for a major upgrade were announced earlier this year.
But Clark tries to score cheap political points rather than seriously examining the IRD computer situation, as Dunne pointed out in a response – Labour off-beam on IRD computer system.
“The IRD’s First computer system comes dead last in supporting a functioning tax agency. There is no way it should have lasted this long and it is in urgent need of an upgrade.
“The Revenue Minister seems to have no sense of urgency about this, despite being in the role for seven years,” Dr Clark said.
The plan was to upgrade IRD’s systems over the next 10 years but who knew how many privacy breaches there would be in that period as the system creaked under pressure, he said.
Dunne points out…
…Dr Clark was wrong on every count. The recent privacy breach had nothing to do with the First computer system or IRD’s online systems. Nor was it the result of staffing levels.
It was human error. Correspondence was mistakenly placed in the incorrect envelope and sent out. Recent phone issues also had nothing to do with the department’s computer systems, he said.
Clark is trying to live up to expectations of him being an up and coming MP. If he wants to become a political heavyweight he will have to do far better than lightweight and ‘ignorant’ attacks like this.