Ministers must answer questions on IRD blowout

The current and previous Revenue Ministers must front up and explain how the child support system had a budget blowout from $30 million to $210 million in just four years, says Labour’s Revenue spokesperson Clayton Cosgrove.

“Peter Dunne was Revenue Minister for eight years. He oversaw the introduction of the new system. Yet both he and the new minister Todd McClay have been silent on the cost blowout.

“The ministers have a responsibility to explain this debacle to the public. The two of them must come out of hiding and answer basic questions:

  • Why did the budget blow out from $30m to 210m?
  • Is the cost of the revised proposal of $163m justified?
  • Does the Treasury support spending $163m on what is little more than tinkering with the child support system?
  • What are the implications for the IRD’s business transformation project where IT costs are already estimated at $1.5b?
  • Did the Revenue ministers monitor this project, ask the right questions and when did they know that costs were spiralling out of control?
  • Or were they asleep at the wheel?

“The revised proposal is four times the cost of fixing Novopay and rivals the INCIS police computer disaster the last time National was in office.

“Former Deputy Commissioner of Inland Revenue Robert Oliver said he baulked at the original $30m cost. Perhaps he is the person the ministers should be listening to,” says Clayton Cosgrove.