Welfare cuts for positive drug tests
Mon, 02 Jul 2012 11:56a.m.
Beneficiaries who don't get jobs because they refuse to take a drug test, or fail one, are going to have their welfare payments cut.
The Government is preparing to implement its election campaign policy and Social Development Minister Paula Bennett says legislation will be introduced later this year.
Under current law there are no penalties for beneficiaries who miss out on jobs because they won't take a drug test, or if they take one and fail.
Finance Minister Bill English says when people are meant to be available for work they should be able to pass a drug test.
"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 on TV One at the weekend.
"Back in the election campaign we made a commitment to have a policy where people who are meant to be available for work should be in the position where they can pass a drug test."
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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31/07/2012 7:41:38 a.m.
im a mum i work hard looking after my kids but i think there is a war on weed i enjoy it being a mum is a hard job everybody knows that as mums we kneed our fun i feel it unfear and very judgementl legalise marajana i budget i olny use a spare 20 dollers a week i dont get to go out and ilove my kids i am studying a bachelor so no we are not just people who sit on our bum doing nothing we work hard and shoudnt be drug tested thats a invasion of privacy im a good mum come in my home and have alook before u judge me and we pay tax out of benfit i get a tax sumary like everyone else
13/07/2012 1:35:15 p.m.
I have always smoked and I have been the top worker in my company for many years. I dont agree with smoking in the workplace at all, but when i get home and finished dinner and so on,I would relax and have a smoke in my shed to myself. Am I really doing the world harm?
3/07/2012 6:01:23 p.m.
I smoke dope and have a full time job.
3/07/2012 1:35:13 p.m.
What bout if you test positive for alcohol? nothing happens? Isn't that a pointless waste of taxpayer money too and it kills more people than all the illegal drugs combined. This is like really john key look at the bigger picture. Oh that's right the government wants the tax money...
3/07/2012 1:30:20 p.m.
@FAY I agree with your comment but what makes you think that the kids aren't already suffering some kind of penalty inflicted by their parent/s habit?? Where do these parents get the money for their habit?? What will these parents sacrifice to finance their habit?? Drug abuse in the home is part of a generational cycle that ties in neatly with family violence alcohol abuse and the list goes on.
I believe a hardline has to be taken to solve these issues. These parents aren't without intelligence or capability. They know what they're doing is illegal, they do have a CHOICE. It's up to these individuals to 'break the cycle' and 'change their mindset' and educate themselves. WINZ and the Govt have alot of avenues for beneficiaries to use so they can upskill themselves. Again it comes back to individual choice
2/07/2012 4:06:15 p.m.
So what happens to these poor kids whose parent or both parents fail a drug test? Obviously the kids will suffer from any penalties. Taking away a percentage from the benefit will impact on rent, food, affect childrens schooling etc etc. Surely there is another way to deal with people abusing the beneficiary system.
2/07/2012 3:34:24 p.m.
NZ has a serious drug problem. The highest rate of drug abuse in the world. Public awareness campaigns and far stricter penalties should be dealt out. The repercussions of parental drug use on children is great, from congenital issues and disorders to lack of adequate supervision and lack of judgement. Beneficiaries by and large cannot afford the copious quantities of illegal drugs that a working person on a higher income can. Workplace and kerbside testing is the way to go
2/07/2012 1:57:14 p.m.
What about those who take high end pain killers due to a work place injury, from one of the rich P--ks who support you, Are you going to cut the sickness benefit as well if they fail a drug test .
2/07/2012 12:59:01 p.m.
Thomas Tanker wrote:
John Key and the Govt should scare us all. Govt is getting too big and too powerful.
Do we really need a multi millionaire who hasn't worked an honest day in all his life telling us what we can do in our own home in our own personal time that doesn't effect anyone else! Smoking Cannabus is illegal because someone made a rule - not because society says it should be or because it is dangerous. People please wake up and stop letting people like John Key create more rules and dictate our lives. We are such a weak feable country when it comes to sticking up for ourselves! Time for change is now.
2/07/2012 12:55:52 p.m.
If they test positive they should automatically be enrolled in a drug rehabilitation program and then onto job training - there are lots of life changing programs out there which help young people into work.
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