Economy

May 9, 2017

Drug testing to weed out dole blunters

A trial program will subject those on the Youth Allowance and Newstart to random drug tests. Those who fail will have their cash taken away.

Josh Taylor — Journalist

Josh Taylor

Journalist

Drugs Newstart Federal Budget 2017

The federal government has announced plans to trial testing welfare recipients for drugs and will limit the cash they receive from Centrelink if they fail. As part of the trial, announced in the 2017 federal budget on Tuesday, 5000 people on Newstart or Youth Allowance in three locations will be required to take random drug tests in order to continue receiving their payments from January 1, 2018. The trial will run for two years.

Former prime minister Tony Abbott briefly toyed with the idea of drug testing but abandoned it. In response to questions on why the government was now interested in chasing welfare recipients on drugs, Treasurer Scott Morrison said in his budget lockup press conference that Australians were prepared to support people, but welfare was a two-way street, and the government was prepared to try the drug testing to bring responsibility into accepting welfare payments:

Free Trial

You've hit members-only content.

Sign up for a FREE 21-day trial to keep reading and get the best of Crikey straight to your inbox

By starting a free trial, you agree to accept Crikey’s terms and conditions

16 comments

Join the conversation

The Crikey comment section is members-only content. Please login or sign up for a FREE trial to engage in the commentary.

Share this article with a friend

Just fill out the fields below and we'll send your friend a link to this article along with a message from you.

Your details

Your friend's details

Sending...