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Tough rules miss the mark

9 April 2008

Tough rules miss the mark

Next Monday sees the roll out of new identity standards across Work and Income offices nationwide.

People dealing with Work and Income who don’t have the right ID will face tough new rules to prove who they are.

They will need to provide one primary ID such as a Birth Certificate or Passport and two validated IDs that show dealings with government, business, health or other organisations such as a power bill, or tenancy agreement. If a photo ID is presented as a validated ID no additional documents are required.

Citing the convicted fraudster Wayne Patterson, who ripped Work and Income off to the tune of three million dollars, Ministry for Social Development papers say the new rules respond to ‘recent high profile cases of benefit fraud’.

Paul Blair, of the People’s Advocacy Centre in Rotorua says, “This is a knee jerk response, done with little consultation and hits those who already find the benefit process terrifying, not the professional criminals who do all the damage”.

Downtown Community Ministry Director Stephanie McIntyre says, “We’re concerned that clients of ours who have no photo ID or Birth certificate could be held up for weeks waiting to get the right documents before they can receive a benefit. This means they may be without money and getting extremely frustrated I expect at not bein
g able to pay for rent or power”.

Work and Income were not able to comment before the deadline for this story.

ENDS


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