Mums and Dads Herald financial advisor Mary Holm, reported receiving a letter from the Inland Revenue Department in response to a query she made on a reader’s behalf.
The Department wrote, “As you know we can’t tell you information about individual customers…”
So there in three words is arguably the greatest language abuse in history.
Taxpayers are not the IRD’s customers, that is eager voluntary payers for something in return. A more appropriate word would surely be victims.
As I’ve frequently written, by definition taxpayers are victims of theft. The definition of theft is to take someones property by coercion or stealth, coercion applying to income tax and stealth to indirect taxes.
The Department would probably defend telling lies on diplomacy grounds. I’m not so sure.
Had they written to Mary saying, “as you know we can’t tell you information about individual victims…” and she’d publicised this, I’m confident the reaction would be both admiration and a damn good laugh for their honesty.
Periodically Government Departments do venture into such bravery and tell the truth.
My all-time favourite, about 25 years ago, was the television advertisement which opened showing wets line-dancing.
Then after about 20 seconds came the message.
If you don’t study hard at school you will end up like this
New Zealand Department of Education”.
It was a marvellous spot-on advert but was sadly pulled after line-dancers complained.