The Abbott Government is mulling drug testing for unemployed people on welfare, according to a report by Samantha Maiden for The Daily Telegraph.
Eyeing New Zealand’s approach on drug test for the unemployed
The Australian government is reportedly taking a closer look at the more hardline approach to drug use by the New Zealand welfare system, which penalises welfare recipients who fail a drug test or refuse to take one by stripping half their payments. Those who fail a drug test are also given 30 days to clean their acts up. If they keep on using drugs or refuse a job that requires drug testing, they will be ordered to return to the state any welfare payments they have received in the past.
However, Social Services Minister Kevin Andrews said that introducing this policy to Australia could prove to be more difficult as it would require the support of the states. He also mentioned the fact that “Australia’s welfare system is complex and expensive”.
Implementing the same policy in Australia is an idea whose time has come. Sure, it means the government will have to spend more for drug testing, but at least it weeds out people who obviously use whatever dole-out they receive to get their fix.
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