Drug testing shouldn't stop employment - Key
Tue, 03 Jul 2012 7:49a.m.
Taxpayers shouldn't have to support beneficiaries who don't get jobs because they refuse to take drug tests, Prime Minister John Key says.
The Government is preparing legislation to strip beneficiaries of their welfare payments if they miss out on jobs because they won't take a drug test, or fail one, and the bill could be in parliament next month.
Under current law there are no penalties and Social Development Minister Paula Bennett says all over the country employers are finding they can't hire unemployed people because of the drug test problem.
Mr Key says that's not fair on taxpayers.
"If they can work, they should work," he said.
"Using drugs is a lifestyle choice and it's quite wrong for people to refuse to take a drug test and miss out on jobs."
Ms Bennett is still working on the details of the bill.
She says those who refuse to take a drug test will be told to come back in two weeks and take it - if they don't their unemployment benefit will be progressively cut.
Finance Minister Bill English says the Government is implementing an election policy.
"In my electorate a lot of jobs are available to younger people in forestry and meat processing, I'm told they often can't employ locals because they can't pass a drug test," he said.
Labour's social development spokeswoman, Jacinda Ardern, says it's the wrong approach.
"What we need to do is make sure we're working with drug and alcohol programmes to ensure that person is able to be employed," she said.
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28/07/2012 6:08:24 p.m.
i agree with you twiggy i am on a benfit smoking is my enjoyment i know my piorities and make sure all bills are paid first I am paying tax the goverment takes tax from our benifit and you can see that in clear writting from winz the govermtnt likes any exscue to pick on thepoor have you ever seen him picking on the rich i do pay tax i do want to work ive been applying for many jobs but with no phd what job is there nz has no jobs
9/07/2012 10:18:19 p.m.
Miss N wrote:
Mr Key said "Using drugs is a lifestyle choice". This is untrue. For some, they cannot deal with pill-form drugs as some cannot tolerate the zombie-like outcome and they cannot perform because of this. I, for instance, vaperise medical cannabis, in the mornings and I'm good as gold (not stoned) a few minutes later and in no pain. I could go to the job and perform well. Maybe, Mr Key, your talking about hard drugs and yes, that is completely different. Cannabis is an health issue, not a life-style choice or a crime choice.
6/07/2012 3:23:15 p.m.
@Vicki At last someone asking some questions!What would happen if farmers were charged for ETS and had to pay $1 billion (or 1.5 billion according to some)? Well they would pass this cost on. The international market can't be charged the money, so that leaves the NZ market for the local tax. While Australia has just introduced an ETS, it doesn't tax biologicals like cows. If add $1-1.5 billion cost to the local Dairy market, will see roughly doubling of dairy prices. Farmers incomes while better than they were are still not high. 2009 and the ave income tax paid by farmers was around $1500, ie they were low income, even though they are the bottom of the pyramid supporting the NZ economy. They just dont have the incomes to soak up the ETS costs, so that leave NZ consumers to pay it like any other tax on goods/services.Capital gains tax? We already have a captial gains tax for any traders. If you trade something, then the capital gain is taxable as income. This is a red herring by the left. The high house/rental prices in Auckland is due to a housing shortage driven by the RMA. In Christchurch is similar housing shortage, till we have more houses rebuilt.NZ needs affordable sollutions, and simply asking working NZ to cough-up more is not a solution either. In many cases people on welfare have it much easier than those working. eg ave tax paid by farmers in 2009 ~$1500 when they had to work for that, when a benefit was no need to work for more money.Drug testing for unemployment benefit would be a step saying stop bludging. It wont magically make jobs, but it will make more people who can work than currently. Private employment is what gets countries out of recessions, and anyone can become self-employeed including someone on welfare. The self-employeed wont even need to worry about drug testing as they will know if they are/aren't using drugs.
5/07/2012 5:32:45 p.m.
I'll support adopting policies for drug testing beneficiaries when the government adopts policies to sincerely investigate the potential for a medication marijuana industry here.
4/07/2012 10:36:29 a.m.
People consume drugs by CHOICE!! Beneficiaries consume drugs because theres nothing else better to do when they could be out there looking for a job.
It's about time the govt enforced measures to 'wake up' beneficiaries to get them off their backsides and stop taking advantage of taxpayers. The benefit is not an entitlement that gives a person permission to sit back and do nothing.
The beneficiaries who abuse the system need a wake up call.
3/07/2012 3:35:18 p.m.
Mumma B wrote:
What amazes me is that they only test for illegal drugs, what about all the people on the perscribed drugs that are far worse than a bit of pot? Of course... only those on decent wages can afford to go to the Doc's for the legal stuff. I know people who are perscribed some powerful pain killers who would rather smoke a bit of pot than have to put up with all the mind altering side effects of the perscribed but don't because it's illegal and it would cost their job...crazy.
3/07/2012 3:12:35 p.m.
@Vicki... these welfare reforms are very american... and as we know the americans are one of the worst countries in the wrold for looking after their vulnerable citizens.
Welfare changes such as these will have a few guaranteed results... increased crime, increased homelessness and increased child abuse/neglect.
Other than that they will do nothing but save the government money by starving kids and making undesireables homless.
3/07/2012 2:29:06 p.m.
which makes one wonder what they'd make of me.
i have chronic motor tic disorder, the visible symptoms of which are similar to an epileptic fit (grand mall seizure? the full body physical thing, either way) or the physical component of tourets, depending on how bad it is at the time.
stress is a major trigger.
i also have a fear of needles (actual phobia. constant bullshit about 'you just have to push through the fear'? yeah, been there, done that, problem got Worse and Less rational despite the fact that i know full well it's a non-thing.)... which is quite stressful.
i'm sure you can see how any tests involving Blood are problematic.
(other tests, not so much, of course, but still.)
'course, i'm on an invalid's benefit (in large part as a result of said disorder) anyway, so not such an issue.
3/07/2012 1:26:10 p.m.
personally i don't see the issue with pot I'm sure if u surveyed the country more than 3/4s of the population would be a pot smoker its socially accepted and its not a bad drug why cant the government crack down on the hard drug users instead of wrecking harmless recreational fun. I got an idea for you John Key legalize pot and sell $10 tinnies you will make more in a week than cigarettes will in a year and you not killing the population
3/07/2012 9:50:14 a.m.
Beneficiaries should all be drug tested to get the dole... Where I live they all sit around getting stoned and while the Govt pays, they don't want to work !! Taxpayers are struggling to live to support these ones...Time changes were made to the eligibility of the dole...Cheers, James.
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