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One off drug-users to be caught in Government’s plan to drug test income support recipients

A senate committee inquiry has revealed that jobseekers who smoke a single joint on the weekend could be put onto the cashless welfare card for two years if they are randomly tested when accessing income support. 

“A one-off decision by a jobseeker trying to access income support could now push them into further disadvantage as a result of being pushed onto paternalistic income management for two years, there is no merit to this approach.  

“The Department of Social Security could not justify this approach at the Senate Committee inquiry into the Drug Testing Trial bill. It highlights that this is just about punishing people and trying to get as many people onto income management as possible. 

“There is no evidence to support the Government’s approach and witnesses to the senate inquiry have outlined their concerns about further harm being caused. 

“Some concerns flagged include increasing already high distress levels, people opting out of income support (leaving them with no financial support), an increasing lack of services and increased crime. Now it has become clear that those not even struggling with addiction will be caught up in this trial”. 

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