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Australia to drug test unemployed in trial welfare crackdown

26 Comments
By SAEED KHAN

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26 Comments
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This reminds me of the international community's attitude to North Korea. "We give you food and payments for your starving populace, but you feed the army and develop nuclear weapons." Or to college kids on scholarships. "We give you a loan/grant, so we do not expect to see you driving a car."

Attaching conditions to handouts seems on the face of it like a sensible idea, but it can feel restrictive. Perhaps the food and housing cashless debit card idea should be the rule for everyone going on welfare, and more flexible payments only for those who subsequently pass muster?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

More demonisation of the unemployed. What a surprise.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

And how much is this going to cost? Drug testing isn't free. This is an expensive project. Did they at least look into the results of previous attempts at implementing such a system? It may sound good to the "tough love" segment of the population, but in practice the previous attempts have all been expensive failures.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

what a load of poop!

0 ( +1 / -1 )

"Australia becoming a nanny state. "

Well, it is all part of the package. I have to confess that it all seems to be getting out of hand. Here we have rising claims against the government (taxpayers, you and me) and increasing promises from the state to claimants. And eventually the government (taxpayers, you and me) will have to crack down and create a whole class of OTHERS. In this case, they are unemployed drug users.

See how that works? One SHOULD wonder what the flaw in the system is. I happen to think it comes at the CLAIMS/PROMISES stage. People are asking too much of others and becoming clients instead of responsible citizens. Or it might be the classification of OTHERS that is wrong.

I am not trying to compare Australia with Japan, but it seems that Japan has controlled people's ability to make claims, has made fewer promises, and therefore does not go to too much trouble to classify OTHERS. I am sure people will disagree, but then, what explains Australia?

There was a time, and they were not such good old days, but there was a time when people made far fewer claims on government, and government more or less left people alone. I am sure people will disagree with that too.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

nandakandamandaMay 11  07:29 pm JST

Madverts, how do you test for tossing it off?

Calluses?

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Withholding support and welfare for the unemployed will only lead to more homelessness and crime to support drug habits.

According to the article, an individual who fails the test will be given a debit card, which can only be used for food and housing, in lieu of cash payouts. Repeated failures will result in the individual being referred to medical professionals for assessment and treatment. So they will still get welfare to assist in purchasing food and paying for housing and it sounds like even if they fail the drug tests multiple times they will be given treatment, which I'm assuming will be on the taxpayer's dime. It's not like the government is withholding support and welfare to every unemployed Aussie, in fact even those people who come up dirty on a drug test will still get their benefits.

This policy looks like an attempt to encourage behavior modification with the intent of making those who could benefit from it, more employable and less reliant on the dole.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Withholding support and welfare for the unemployed will only lead to more homelessness and crime to support drug habits.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Judging the state of wronguns walking the streets during the daytime in my home city last time I was back, England could do with a scheme like this

The Tories were responsible for creating this problem in the first place in the 1980s.

Time for talk about layabouts robbing the taxpayer rather than talk about going after the people who don't bother paying taxes in the first place.

In other words, election time.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Feel sorry for the people who have to check the sewage.....

0 ( +2 / -2 )

To be fair, they should also do drug testing on all politicians, and refuse to pay any who test positive for illegal drugs.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Madverts, how do you test for tossing it off?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

All very well but are there jobs for all of the folks on welfare?  Or are they just expected to take what they are given?

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Australia will drug test the newly-unemployed as part of a crackdown on people who blow their benefits on getting high,

I'm not against the idea in principle but it's pretty backwards targeting the newly unemployed.

It's those tossing it off for years on the dole that should be tested.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Inkochi

Pretty spot on.

Its not going to stop there, it's going to get worse.

Governments do not need more power or information over the populace.

Granted their are people who may be horribly abusing the system and it is wrong to say you need money for your kids or food or rent, and then spend it on drugs.

But that is not a good reason for the governments to change the law and break down your liberties. You can't punish everyone for the sins of a few.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Though Australia is one of the more repressive democracies (so many laws banning and taxing so many things), it is still 'The Lucky Country', which many in its population take for granted in a self-centred way, including some people on the dole. But certainly not all. It is sad that there will be people caught up in this drug-testing scenario should not have to. But there are some to whom it should have happened years ago.

There is more though - results become public record and it's anyone's guess the extent that is going to affect their future chances to get and do things for themselves and their families. For instance, if I were a provider of accommodation, would I really want someone who has no money AND (seems to have) a drug problem?

I feel sorry for their kids.

This is more than 'Nanny state' - it is a sign of where it is all going. For instance, do you think that drug-testing is going to stop with unemployment welfare recipients?

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Few years later there will be movie on it. How person killed him/herself when he/she was falsely accused.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

@disillusioned, completely agree. Actually just came back to oz, for work, a couple of days ago and have been following 2017 Fed budget fairlY closely. Am not a fan of Barnaby Joyce but agreed with him when he said yesterday that tax payers had a right to see those on welfare getting ready to a position where they could work. Am still paying my taxes in oz and am all for helping ppl in need as like long as they don't take the piss. Many in oz (and elsewhere I guess) do.

Personally I see that as good old Aussie pragmatism and I love it. Outsiders may think it's soft, nanny state like, too intrusive or whatever but imo it's just common sense. What's wrong with identifying ppl who have a drug pbm, help them get clean so that they can contribute to society? Jacquie Lambie (another one I usually don't agree with) also called for the same (drug testing) for politicians. Not too many agreed/disagreed so far lol!

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

@goldorak - Like shooting fish in a barrel.

That is exactly the point! A person on unemployment benefits should not be able to afford to buy drugs. I'm sure there are quite a few who are just users, but this will also weed out those who are supporting their income by selling drugs and still collecting welfare benefits.

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

Australia becoming a nanny state. You are forced to vote...,now forced to show the government what's in your body? That goes against a lot of life laws.

Aussies, rise up and ditch that nonsense. Next thing they'll be sticking a CPU into you at birth.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

Like shooting fish in a barrel.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

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