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


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:

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16 thoughts on “Drug testing to weed out dole blunters

  1. Richard

    As long as the “Druggies on the Dole” police are NOT allowed to randomly kick in doors..

  2. paddy

    Good grief! 750,000 unemployed and Scomo wants to recruit them into the
    #Haven’tgotathingtolose army.
    That should go down a treat.
    It makes Bill Shorten’s army of white people look positively benign.
    Deny them the dole @$14K p.a. & put them in jail @$100K p.a.
    Sounds like a plan. 🙁

  3. Figaro

    I feel the drug testing hasn’t gone far enough. To be fair and equitable it should extten to all taxpayers who submit any firm of tax expense deduction in their income tax return. I don’t think even treasury has an estimate on how much revenue would be saved. Any individual in a corporation testing positive would automatically invalidate any tax expense deduction for that tax year. See how that goes down.

    1. Radguy

      Figaro, that’s about as ethical as infidel taxes. If you believe tweaking your consciousness should be illegal, then you’re in an extreme minority.

      As for the overall punitive approach to Newstart, this is from members of a generation who have happily rigged (manipulated a captive market) the system to make on average well over Newstart allowance in real estate appreciation. They also want to ignore the fact that every citizen is effectively a shareholder in the nation, where dirt is being sold and a person terminated from receiving benefits is being actively dispossessed of any revenue. There’s a word for that.

  4. klewso

    The Scapegoat Tax?
    Why do people take drugs …?

  5. AR

    This is wicked in so many ways but let’s just recall that, as far as ‘red meat’ for the arsehole vote goes, the essential point is that they don’t give a shit whether people are in poverty, it is whether they are not being miserable & suffering sufficiently.
    It’s just a notching up of the work-for-the-dole mentality – it does not train people for non existent jobs nor get things done within communities, just makes the victim that little bit more unhappy.

  6. Daniel Ruben

    It’ll never get through the Senate. This is just huffing and bluffing to keep DT readers and 2GB listeners happy and distract them from the fact that this is more or less a Labor budget.

    1. Susan Anderson

      This isnt a Labor budget, its fragmented, incoherent and expensive, its just not the vicious package of nails that useless Joe bashed us with in 2014
      Labor treasurers are well educated and intelligent, nothing like the two desperate bozos that introduced this crap

    2. Figaro

      Rest easy. I agree with all of you. Mine was a sarcastic response to a dumb budget announcement basically designed to save money at the expense of some of the most needy.

  7. Wayne Cusick

    I’d like to see a cost-benefit analysis done on that.

  8. J King

    When everyone starts having health complications from consuming more alcohol and cigarettes; since I assume the test wont cover these more dangerous and more heavily taxed luxuries.. won’t that be more of a burden on the tax payers? These people will be visiting hospitals that are already under the pump. I have never really agreed with the work for the dole program. Apart from the fact that it is the very definition of slavery it doesn’t really help the unemployed. What employer in their right mind would hire someone when they can get someone in to work for free? The $20 extra they give per fortnight in most cases doesn’t cover the expense of having to attend work for the dole in the first place. In my opinion job providers should be shut down as they are a waste of space and money and only help to alleviate the pressure on Centrelink offices. Having the many labour hire companies that are saturating the market regulated by the government couldn’t hurt either. They could also stop with the facade and actually admit that there is a job shortage to begin with.

  9. Charlie Chaplin

    And the cost of the drug testing is a big secret because ” it is commercial in confidence”. I just love living in a privatised, outsourced, liberal free market world, don’t you? Such an exciting time to be a weasel.

    1. AR

      One reason for the commercial entity’s cost to be kept confidential is the sheer outrageous gouging.
      A small example, those little sachets used at the airport for suspect substances cost $25 each for a bit of plastic, 5cc of nitric acid and a reagent costing at most 2 cents.
      The ion detector in the drug room costs $350,000 and should be scoured after each use, which of course it isn’t and only operated by a skilled chimp.. errr, officer which of course it isn’t
      So, all dunky-hory, mmmOKayyy?

  10. John Quintner

    Will those who test positive for “medicinal” cannabis also be penalised?

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