Beneficiaries’ drug tests could cost $14m a year
Fri, 17 Aug 2012 7:38a.m.
The Government has been warned its plan to drug test beneficiaries could cost up to $14 million a year.
It intends testing those who don't get jobs because they fail a test, or won't take one, and cut their benefits if they keep using drugs.
Radio New Zealand reports it has a leaked Ministry of Health memo which says the plan could cost up to $14m and warns that up to 10 percent of beneficiaries could claim they were addicted.
Under the plan, those who are addicted to drugs won't face sanctions if they fail work drug tests and will be offered treatment.
The $14m cost forecast is about double the amount the Government hopes to save by getting more beneficiaries into work.
Social Development Minister Paula Bennett says there's a fine line between recreational drug use and addiction.
"It's about using the right professionals so they can make the decisions as to what is recreational use and addiction," she said.
Ms Bennett says the alternative is to do nothing and let people to continue drawing benefits while they fail to get jobs because they use drugs.
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28/08/2012 11:25:07 a.m.
Fair Kiwi wrote:
YOU take drugs, NO DOLE. I do not work to pay taxes to see it wasted on you losers. Piss off and fund your own stinking habits.
26/08/2012 7:38:49 p.m.
Yes I see the questions , the debates and the comments to help make my business plan with MSD, and over seen by the HRC more visable when reading these comments, of course the tax payer will have to fork out of their wages to help fund these institutes that are prepared to offer the services to help rehabilitate those who choose to smoke dope and work when their tests prove lucky for them or not. Its one vicious circle of human kind to give back to help others in need, for the misfortunate ones in the world. And here in NZ they give out funding so that people can become self employed and design, promote and implement these policy changes and regulations into practise with Govt backings, so you see, back in 2010, MSD was hit with a HRC matter filed by me, and so far the changes are still being fine tuned , I am now prepared to step up to the plate and claim the compensation that we are due Until these matters can be resolved in the HRC meetings, with MSD then, with my counsel we shall seek the right pathway for administering it to those that will be most likely effected due to these sanction imposement changes. A Hui is still to be set down for a later date , which is yet to be confirmed.....mia
24/08/2012 1:45:01 p.m.
new zealand is turning into nanny state.. get rid of john keys and get a party who is going to actually run the country, and work WITH the people and not be against its own people.
24/08/2012 1:01:31 a.m.
14 mill To test for dope and p?? Sounds like a load of bollix, it just a swab...
20/08/2012 3:51:09 p.m.
Why are beneficiaries given the carrot/stick approach? Wouldn't it be better if they had better support behind them to help move them into work. Some - and by some i mean a small minority have had poor family backgrounds etc. might have spiralled them into a life of drugs, it doesn't mean they're bad people, and we shouldn't give up on them like that. I'm sure that 14 million could be spent helping many beneficiaries into work rather than discriminate and cut them off. Who benefits from the drug tests anyway?
20/08/2012 3:34:40 p.m.
Is this just another benefit bashing effort?? I don't think so. Yes, NZders do have 'rights' but if 'you' are receiving an income from the govt, then I believe it's justifiable to be drug tested. Of course there are people who work that are potheads, but they are also subject to random drug tests as well BUT more importantly earn their wage through employment. I'm tired of hearing beneficiaries say they can't work because they'll fail a drug test. That's absolute bulls**t and I can understand why NZders target the lazy bludger on the benefit because it's their taxes paying for that potheads income. NZ companies are becoming more drug intolerant and there will be a time when there will eventually be a zero tolerance to drugs in the workplace. I can see that drug testing beneficiaries will not only stop drug abuse but will stop them from abusing their income as well. Something to think about.
19/08/2012 5:00:06 p.m.
@christopher, my father just got laid off and took the unemployment benefit for the first time in his life. worked solid for 40 years, and you still have the nerve to say that you're paying his benefit? get a grip and stop being so elitist, the 40 years of hard yakka he completed has paid for his own benefit. If you still have that slave mentality, time travel back to America 50 years ago.
18/08/2012 10:43:34 p.m.
@Christopher: You are right - drug taking is not ok, for beneficiaries or anyone else. However, beneficiaries are already at the bottom of the heap. Many come from dysfunctional backgrounds, have low achievement standards, or have been badly affected by the recession. What they need is help, not yet another stick... but that is what this govt is constantly dishing out. This govt needs to stop the threats and start providing worthwhile opportunities. People respond to encouragement and opportunities far more than to tests and threats. That is the issue, but it is one that Paula Bennett is pathologically opposed to. Her entire thrust is to hit anyone who does not comply, without actually giving them anything at all to live for.
18/08/2012 6:39:27 p.m.
I am a tax payer. I work hard for my money. My money goes on essentials for my family. I am not happy to support beneficiaries who use drugs with their benefit money which is payed by the me and other tax payers. If you believe this is acceptable then you are a complete moron. The benefit is for basic essentials like food, rent etc. not drugs. I believe any opposition to this plan is either politically motivated or you use drugs yourself and feel that is OK to spend benefit money on dope and 'P' - well it is not.
18/08/2012 9:41:39 a.m.
So the 'taxpayer' gets to fund the treatment of beneficiaries who are addicted to drugs, and the cost is an issue. Great to see The Council of Trade Unions fighting against this. Of course they're not trying to confuse the issue or play politics. They only care about the unemployed. What's that beer company's tag line again?
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