Plans to drug test welfare recipients have been revealed by the Coalition Government, with Newstart and Youth Allowance recipients to be targeted. The announcement comes after a similar policy proposal was already previously rejected by the Senate in December.
Both the Labor Party and also the Greens have expressed opposition to the reforms, suggesting that such measures would effectively demonise those who are reliant on welfare payments. Senate crossbenchers also rejected the proposed policy in December, after the Coalition Government failed in its attempted negotiations.
The reforms would see cashless welfare cards replace traditional welfare payments for those who fail drug tests. Doing so would prevent welfare recipients from spending welfare payments on products and services which are not deemed appropriate by the government.
With the Coalition Government assuring the Australian public upon its election victory in 2013 that responsible economic policies would be introduced in order to alleviate the nation’s massive budget deficit, this long overdue attempt at fiscal competence seems to be far too little too late. As the Australian Government continues to spend money on programs which it simply can’t afford, the nation’s future hangs by a thread.