Drug users to lose benefit
Tue, 28 Aug 2012 9:31a.m.
By 3 News online staff
Unemployment beneficiaries who fail drug tests twice or don’t apply for drug-tested jobs will have their benefits cancelled, the Government has announced.
Social Development Minister Paula Bennett hinted towards the plans earlier this year and this morning revealed how it would work.
Ms Bennett says the drug crackdown will apply to all beneficiaries who are looking for work or those with employment conditions on their benefits.
If a person fails a drug test or doesn’t apply for a drug-tested job, they will be given a warning by Work and Income and given 30 days to get their systems clean.
If for a second time a person fails a drug test or fails to apply for a drug-tested job, their benefit will be cancelled, only to be reinstated if they are clean a month later.
Ms Bennett says 40 percent of the jobs listed with Work and Income require drug tests and too many beneficiaries are not getting these jobs because recreational drugs are in their systems.
“Thousands of working New Zealanders are in jobs requiring they be clean of drugs - it’s reasonable to expect someone looking for work to do the same,” she says.
The new plans come into effect in April next year and exclude those on prescribed medication.
Beneficiaries with addiction problems will be given support, Ms Bennett says.
Earlier this month, it was revealed these new measures would costs twice as much as they would save.
Radio New Zealand obtained a leaked Ministry of Health memo which gave the drug test rules a price tag of $14 million.
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16/09/2012 7:00:59 p.m.
There are plenty of jobs around but employers are having to bring in overseas workers to fill them. Some beneficiaries treat the benefit as a career and will not bother to try and look for a job.They are not interested in having to go from one suburb to another or travelling from one town to another in order to work as some of my workmates do.If I was unemployed I would do anything in order to be employed especially if I had a family.A lot of these beneficiaries give the genuine ones a bad name.As for me being a tax payer, I hate the thought that I am funding someones drug habit, even their smoking and drinking habits. I say good on the Nats!!Toughen up the benefits and maybe some of our young children will learn from it and make better choices in the future.
11/09/2012 11:30:00 p.m.
what if i dont want any of the jobs they offer at minimum wage, what if i want to move into a career? no the dictatorial winz and the scum filled national party want to take all of my rights away so they can line their pockets with cash... it will not be tollerated for much longer
4/09/2012 7:56:25 a.m.
Im interested to know what support will be offered to those who are addicts. Surely, cutting what little benefits people get will hinder not help people who are dependent on drugs. What about alcohol?
30/08/2012 8:13:05 p.m.
This is nothing but a National strategy to shift blame for unemployment from Government to the unemployed. It's a pathetic, sad, attempt to brand unemployed as "lazy druggies".
I wonder if the Nats intend to drug test all those New Zealand workers who've been made redundant this year;
ANZ; 1,000 redundancies
Hakes Marine; 15 redundancies
Telecom; 400 redundancies
Brightwater Engineering; 40 redundancies
Pernod Ricard New Zealand; 13 redundancies
Depart of Corrections; 130 redundancies
Summit Wool Spinners; 80 redundancies
Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade; 80 redundancies
Norman Ellison Carpets; 70 redundancies
IRD; 51 redundancies
Flotech; 70 redundancies
NZ Police; 125 redundancies
CRI Plant and Food; 25 redundancies
Te Papa; 16 redundancies (?)
PrimePort Timaru; 50 redundancies (?)
Kiwirail; 220 redundancies
Fisher & Paykel; 29 redundancies
Goulds Fine Foods; 60 redundancies
Canterbury University; 150 redundancies (over three years)
Will National be drug testing all 263 miners and other workers soon to be sacked by Solid Energy?
Won't THAT be a good look!
Last year, John Key promised us 170,000 new jobs.
Instead unemployment has risen from 6.7 to 6.8%.
To shift the blame, the Nats are painting unemployment as drug addicts.
Only the ill-informed rednecks who can't think for themselves accept this BS from Key and Bennett. True-blue National supporters - never short of a prejudice to exploit.
Grow up, you people! Don't be so gullible to believe everything your darling Nats tell you.
29/08/2012 6:38:15 p.m.
@ David. I understand what you say..'target every sector, not just a specific sector and start at the top..J.Key'. Without a doubt, I agree with that and that should be a question fired at Paula Bennett and J.Key...Lead by example. But the reality is beneficiaries will be targetted first. I don't agree with Nationals policies and what they're doing to beneficiaries. I've personally witnessed a few beneficiaries (dole, DPB), who are capable of working, walk into an employers office and tell the employer they do drugs. They do a piss test, employer says they're unemployable, the bene leaves and the cycle repeats. When will this kind of attitude change? It's not right, it's not fair. It's unfair to expect taxpayers to tolerate this behaviour. Pre-employment drug testing is mandatory, as well as random drug testing within the workforce, it's been around for a few years, it's nothing new. Is a beneficiaries drug habit more important than a part/full time job? Only the individual can answer that question.
29/08/2012 6:02:27 p.m.
Jay nem wrote:
Show us the jobs and maybe people will stop turning to drugs as a means for easing their depression. Seriously there are no jobs whatsoever yet all this talk about "work" is being played out like an idiotic haze. Paula Bennett and the rest of the Nact mongoloids should really quit with the beneficiary bashing and actually develop more work for people out there.
28/08/2012 11:23:08 p.m.
Even though drug testing may be a good idea, I don't believe that their benefits should be 100% removed. The government should at least supply a basic standard of living to them. Most of their money is spent on food, rent etc, and giving them no money isn't going to help. Sure, they can head to a food bank, but I doubt it will actually help unemployment.
If it is as reported, then the what defines 'addiction'? Can't someone just weasel their way out of getting their benefits removed by saying they're addicted, then get 'help' and still use drugs?
28/08/2012 11:01:40 p.m.
@ Katrina, really, where are those jobs at? i would apply. and it is total descrimination, and we should not put up with this type of government.. you drug test everyone if your going to start this, and start with the top that get state wages paid to them, mp,s, back benches and all the pen pushers that go home and do meth. i know several mp,s and some rather high ranking maori,s that do this stuff weekly. and then take off on tax payers dollars for weekends at places such as the lodges in taupo and others in there state funded cars on the state funded petrol. this country has seriously got to the crappers and kiwis just take it..
28/08/2012 7:30:58 p.m.
If I have to manage my drug use in preparation for my employers random drug testing regime to keep my job those on benefits should meet the same requirment...
28/08/2012 6:18:27 p.m.
This is just about fudging the figures for the next election. Reducing the unemployment figures by any means. All of you that think this will improve society think again! If you do not address the real issues then you change nothing but people will still need food and still take drugs. That then can only come from crime. It is an exponential spiral down that will effect all of us in a very negative way. National choose the most vulnerable to attack as they know all National voters will support this discrimination with out care or thinking what it really means. It has nothing to do with saving money, hey how much of your tax has been spent on the Afghan war, Billions? What has that gained you here in NZ - Nothing! Think what that money could have done, re-built Christchurch!
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