INDEPENDENT NEWS

Intolerable pressure real cause of MSD security issues

Published: Wed 11 Feb 2015 12:16 PM
Intolerable pressure real cause of MSD security issues
Media release Wednesday 11 February 2015
“The MSD report released yesterday deals with the consequences of a system which daily sets out to harass, belittle and punish people while failing to recognise deeper causes of security problems,” says Auckland Action Against Poverty spokesperson Sue Bradford.
“The intolerable pressure placed on staff and beneficiaries by successive welfare reforms is the true cause of security problems at Work & Income offices.
“There is no question that MSD staff deserve to be safe at work, as do all workers.
“But Government should be looking way beyond guards and risk compliance policies for genuine, longterm solutions.
“What’s needed is a wholesale change to welfare policies and practices, starting with an end to the culture of denial which sees thousands of people turned down each day for the support to which they’re entitled.
“At Auckland Action Against Poverty’s Mangere beneficiary ‘impact’ in August 2014 we helped over 500 people in three days.
“Almost all of them had been being treated with some degree of disregard and disentitlement by the department. We continue to help people in similar situations on a daily basis.
“National’s welfare reforms have focused on pushing or keeping people off benefits no matter the consequences for their physical and mental health and wellbeing.
“This has meant that many of the most vulnerable people in the country are constantly harassed as a matter of everyday practice.
“The stress is often unbearable, and it is nonsensical for the Minister Anne Tolley and John Key to pretend otherwise.
“It’s high time we had a serious review of welfare policy and practice. The current departmental culture hurts all involved. It’s way past time for a change.”
ends

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