Work and Income limit access through forced ID checks

From today, Work and Income staff will be asking for ID from beneficiaries seeking help from Work and Income. This policy shift follows the prosecution of MSD in the Ashburton case for failing to adequately protect staff.

“While we believe in the safety of all workers, AAAP see this policy shift as another move to hinder access to Work and Income and punish the poor,”says AAAP spokesperson Vanessa Cole.

“AAAP take people onto Work and Income offices to help people get their full entitlements. We are concerned that this new policy will impact our ability to advocate for people.

“AAAP advocates often come across cases of homeless people who desperately need access to Work and Income but do not have any form of ID.

“Work and Income have made no plans to ensure people without ID can access support.

“This lack of planning by W&I will only increase people’s frustration. This is likely to precipitate incidents. It will not promote safety.

“People are humiliated and treated badly by Work and Income staff. The best way to protect staff is to change the toxic policies of Work and Income which deny people their entitlements.”