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Drug testing beneficiaries; yeah that’s the problem

Written By: - Date published: 2:49 pm, August 17th, 2012 - 65 comments
Categories: benefits, Economy, employment, national - Tags:

I could hardly believe my ears this morning when I heard about Paula Bennett’s plan to drug test beneficiaries and cut their benefits if they fail.  Yeah that’s the problem that’s preventing people from finding work.  Drugs.  Not the 6.8 percent unemployment rate (and it’s higher in the provinces).   It’s hard to imagine a more punitive policy. And yet it’s equally hard to name a single policy that creates work or makes it easier for people to move from the benefit to a real job.  Except for the 90 days trial period of course.

This government stubbornly refuses to use its own economic muscle to employ or contract to Kiwi firms over cheap foreign labour or services (think KiwiRail)  but is willing to waste millions of dollars on this sort of invasive, mean and demeaning nonsense which is only designed to belittle job seekers and appease the righties who are convinced that every beneficiary is a bludger.  It makes you want to weep.

But good on Helen Kelly and the CTU for for doing the OIA which showed that the government has receivedno advice,briefings, papers or reports in the last twelve months about complaints from employers about beneficiaries failing drug tests and is unable to locate the much vaunted complaints from employers about beneficiaries failing drug tests.”

While looking up the figures for this, I read that from 1985 to 2012 unemployment reached an all time high of 11.2 % in 1991 (National) and a record low of 3.5 % in 2007 (Labour). Just saying.

 

65 comments on “Drug testing beneficiaries; yeah that’s the problem”

  1. vto 1

    But drug tests do not test impairment in the workplace.

    Perhaps I’ll say that again so it sinks in…. drug tests do not test impairment in the workplace.

    And one more time …….. drug tests do not test impairment in the workplace.

    drug tests do not test impairment in the workplace.

    Someone should test these tests through the courts as to their legitimacy.

  2. vto 2

    I think drug tests (the non-impairment testing ones referred to) should be compulsory in the finance sector. It is well known that they liberally dose themselves up to attend to their work. Ask John Key about it – he will be well aware.

    • Colonial Viper 2.1

      Test for exposure to occupational exposure to coke and strippers. All Wall St bankers fail instantly.

  3. Johnm 3

    How about drug testing Key’s Goldman Sachs mates who are high on greed and who can’t wait for the next unearned bonus fix! And him and his mates who are drooling at the mouth to have what belongs to the Commonwealth of NZ for their own greedy enrichment our Power company assets!? Basically it’s class war one rule for us no rules apply to them or not justice but just us! 🙁

    Oh! I forgot there aren’t any tests they can take to detect the drug greed therefore doesn’t exist? However Morality, Intelligence, and decency is enough to rumble their game which is to continue widening the inequality gap in this land until we’re a banana republic such as the late U$$$ where 50,000,000 former working people languish on foodstamps!

  4. framu 4

    from RNZ “Ms Bennett says the alternative is to do nothing and she does not intend to let people sit on a benefit and take drugs in a receational manner and not be work tested.”

    article

    so does she think all people who take drugs in a recreational manner are unfit for work – regardless of WHEN the recreational activity took place? – or – is it way more likely that shes engaging in opening her mouth before thinking everything through?

    Im with VTO on this one – impairment tests are much better – theres more things than drugs on this earth that can cause impairment issues

  5. Fuzzy Dunlop 5

    I very much doubt the drug testing of beneficiaries will be introduced beyond a few isolated incidents. Think of the much-vaunted crushing of boy racers’ cars. The real purpose of the policy is to distract attention from both the government’s failure to reduce unemployment and the Government’s real agenda – privatisation of state assets.

  6. To be fair to Bennett the policy has been tested on a focus group comprised of members of the KKK and of Grey Power and they thought it was a fine idea. Hell they would even vote for a party that did this.

    So what is everyone complaining about?  Do you expect your Government to be guided by reality or by voter prejudice?

  7. hazza 7

    I’d be interested to know how much money Bennett believes will be saved by cutting the benefits to those who fail a drug test. Not long ago I saw a Daily Show story on how the state of Florida is doing the same thing and, as only 2% were failing the tests, it was costing the Floridian tax payers.

    • North 7.1

      I’d be interested to know whether Paula Pig could swear on oath that she’s never had a toke.

      This is all about applying public money to obtain political advantage by fomenting hatred.

      Corrupt baggage !

      • mickysavage 7.1.1

        Good idea North.  Her support out west would plummet if she said she had never had a toke …

        • David H 7.1.1.1

          Maybe she needs to be tested…..

          Hmmm

          Well she’s rattling on about testing everyone and you just know she’s Gonna spread the name and address of the person that demands it done. And who could you trust to do it properly??

      • Mary 7.1.2

        Maybe some reporter could ask her in a live interview? That’d be good. Imagine that – the driver of the tart cart from out west telling us she’s never had a puff? Could even ask her if she’s ever had a puff while on the DPB and getting a training incentive allowance – the one she got her light-weight BA from (after dropping out of social work) – and then stopped other beneficiaries from getting. Maybe something like this: “Do you think, Paula, that the reason you couldn’t cope with the social work degree and had to drop out to doing a mere BA was because you smoked too much weed? Was that when you were on the DPB and getting the training incentive allowance?”

    • Draco T Bastard 7.2

      About $14 million to save perhaps $6 million.

  8. chris73 8

    Being that quite a few of us have to pass a drug test to get a job is it that much to expect beneficiaries not to waste the money on drugs?

    • McFlock 8.1

      Yes. Given that there’s no indication that drug abuse is at all responsible for our unemployment levels.

      • chris73 8.1.1

        If you’re unemployed and on drugs and go for a job with drug testing I’m thinking that might be a problem also apparently the unemployed are so hard done by and live hand to mouth why are they wasting money on drugs?

        • mickysavage 8.1.1.1

          Yep why not drug test everyone.  Why worry just about beneficiaries.  While they are not working they do not hurt anyone.  But politicians, doctors, lawyers and company directors if they are on the piss or on drugs they can do a lot of damage.  Why not test them first?

        • McFlock 8.1.1.2

          But the people who pay the benefits have no evidence of that ever happening.
                   
          And maybe they just grow their own. Or get it from friends. Or save up over weeks. It’s not actually any of your business, because there’s no evidence that iot affects their works eligibility and plenty of non-drug users have difficulty making ends meet on the pathetic benefit levels.

        • Draco T Bastard 8.1.1.3

          The only time it becomes valid to test someone for drugs is when they’re doing something that’s dangerous and the drugs will impair them. Any other time is just pure authoritarianism.

        • Descendant Of Smith 8.1.1.4

          If you go to a job that requires drug testing then the employer should do the drug testing and pay for the cost.

          Why should the taxpayer pay for an employer cost?

          And who are the people who will benefit from the drug-testing?

          It seems to me:

          1. The employer who wants drug testing but doesn’t want to pay for it
          2. The people doing the drug testing who from earlier reports all sound like ex-cops running around trying to generate themselves an income

          Who doesn’t benefit:

          1. The taxpayer cause overseas experience has found drug use on benefits is not as high as the normal population – partly cause they can’t afford it – and the cost has been higher than the savings made.
          2. The taxpayer because of the additional bureaucracy and time this will take up.

          I in no way support drug-taking and having seen many people who are severely damaged as a result of drug taking I am totally convinced of the damage it can cause. I would rather see effort and funding put into drug rehab services and changing peoples enviornments for the better so that they don’t see drug use as an better option than whatever they are going through.

          Drug testing beneficiaries is just as useful as peeing in the wind.

        • Vicky32 8.1.1.5

          also apparently the unemployed are so hard done by and live hand to mouth why are they wasting money on drugs?
           

          So, what evidence do you have that we are?
          When did I last have a toke? 1981, and I wouldn’t now, even if I could afford to.
          But that’s not the point, the point is that the beneficiaries on drugs meme is a very popular one (especially in the US) but that doesn’t make it true!

        • Frank Macskasy 8.1.1.6

          Will Paula Bennett insist that the following underyake drug-testing?

          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)
          Solid Energy; 363 redundancies
          Tiwai Pt aluminium smelter; 100 redundancies

    • David H 8.2

      I take way more potent drugs than pot and shit, and mine are prescribed. I am still allowed to drive (I don’t) and I am still able to do fiddly delicate work with no problems. It’s not the drug use it’s the impairment of some people, when under said influence.

    • “is it that much to expect beneficiaries not to waste the money on drugs?”

      Why do you assume that the unemployed are “on drugs”?

      And why does National get away with blaming the global financial crisis on it’s poor management of the economy – but the unemployed are called druggies by Bennett and National supporters like you?

  9. North 9

    Chris 73 – “being that” it is palpable that unemployment and povety would be seen at present disgraceful levels were the smoking of cannabis unknown in this country, all you are doing is oinking along with Paula Pig. You typify the thicko backwoodsman rump of the National Party.

  10. gobsmacked 10

    Tonight Close-Up (TV One) will be running a “text poll” on this issue.

    Of course those polls are meaningless, but I’ll announce the result in advance … over 75% in favour of drug testing/cutting benefit. Because, you know, drugs are, like bad, and that. And you know, Me like text, Me no like think.

    Now, there’s a choice here for the opposition:

    1) Get the facts out – as covered elsewhere, through OIA etc. The costs, the irrelevance, etc.

    2) Talk about something much more important instead – like jobs and wages. Refuse to play the knee-jerk game.

    3) Say “OMG! Big majority! Look at all them votes!”, then try and outflank National (yeah, the mind boggles).

    I’d suggest 1 and/or 2, but I’m not some genius strategist.

    • Colonial Viper 10.1

      I’d suggest 1 and/or 2, but I’m not some genius strategist.

      May I suggest you’d do better than many who claim the title currently.

      • gobsmacked 10.1.1

        Cheers, CV … I feel damned with faint praise! 😉

        Anyway, Close-Up txt-fart result … 90%. Gosh, who’d have guessed?

        • mike 10.1.1.1

          90%? How did they phrase the question? Are you in favour of drug-testing filthy, lazy, bong-raping beneficiaries who use your money to lay around on the floor all day smoking huge joints?

          If not my faith in Close Up text polls just died a wee bit. Oh the pain.

        • xtasy 10.1.1.2

          These Close UP “polls”, where a text message costs 75 cents, they are as representative as a general election result would be, if the requirement were, that voters PAY a fee, before being allowed to cast their votes!

          I wonder how many voters would turn out to vote, if they had to pay, say 10 dollars, before being allowed to do so and be counted?

          • kiwi_prometheus 10.1.1.2.1

            Well all the dope heads would drop out, if they ever used to find their way to the polling booth in their drug induced haze in the first place.

            After all $10 contribution to participate in democracy or hand it over to their dealer next drop off?

  11. xtasy 11

    The planned introduction of drug testing beneficiaries is nothing much more than another token gesture to National’s hard-line, right wing core supporters, as well as intended to show the wider public that they are “doing something” about beneficiaries “indulging” in supposed “lifestyles”, while they should be working.

    National was drumming the propaganda about welfare abuse for years, so the media picked it up, wrote about supposed abuse, which may be happening in a minor number of cases, but which was presented as if it is a wide-spread problem. This influenced the public’s perception of beneficiaries, and since the image of beneficiaries has due to large scale misinformation become so bad, they (Bennett and National) now see a need to show they will “deliver”.

    I doubt that it will change much, think it will be hard to implement, lead only to recreational drug users switch to more alcohol and other drug use, and also prove to be so expensive, it will become another idiot measure that will eventually quietly be abandoned again down the line.

    If workers or job seekers use drugs, WINZ, same as employers should also ask themselves: Maybe the jobs and conditions on offer are so crappy, poorly paid and unsavoury, so that workers and prospective workers choose to drug themselves to cope with the idea of having to perform such jobs, paying just enough for accommodation, food and bare essentials, but nothing else?

    • North 11.1

      I daresay there are those among us who will face agonising dilemma if they see certain John Key licking commentator/journalist good ol’ boys/girls go anywhere near rationalising Paula Privacy Pig’s latest bullshit.

      Be strong good people. Fearlessly apply the Fuller Principle. Out them all !

      “Hello……hello, Media ? Ya there…….where y’all gone ? Oh come on. Don’t be silly. The rules are quite different for folks like you…….”

      • John Minnee 11.1.1

        You are showing yourself as rather dim, I’m afraid, by referring Paula Bennett as Paula Pig.
        Do you have to be so abusive?, you are doing yourself no good, and it’s not that funny

        • xtasy 11.1.1.1

          John Minnee: Come on, people did during Muldoon’s times call him “Piggie Muldoon”, and there were a few other unkind nicknames given to Richardson (“Ruthless Ruth”, the term “Ruthanasia”), Shipley (“Jenny Shapely”), Helen Clark (“Helen the Red” or hear about “Helengrad”), and many other cases more, for members from various parties.

          Some here try to add a bit of either humour or cynicism to their comments, so one should be a bit liberal in this respect. Paula Bennett has in parliament also been somewhat abusive to opposition members, as far as I remember. If she would actually be a bit kinder and integre to the people she deals with, and especially whom she should due to her role look after (for their wellbeing), I am sure that she would also get kinder “nicknames”.

  12. Reality dictates that post peak oil (now) everything will go to crap, we are just in the open stages of this shit storm, it will only get worse.The worse it gets the worse it will get. Those were the good old days, and that was as good as it comes. We are all heading for the gutter, 80 – 90 % unemployment …. maybe we could say 100% as money becomes worthless ?
    We are going to have to learn to live without the ‘luxury’ of keeping unproductive humans alive, the rules of nature trump all other rules, you can not create something from nothing … well not something ‘sustainable’ ie a system 100% dependent on limited resources has to end, this is exactly what is unfolding around the planet now.
    It is just that most humans are unable to comprehend this, so not only will we have shortages to cope with we will have fellow humans to fight with over what is left. The fight has started, Bennett is leading the charge, quite simply we need to reduce the population as fast as the energy is declining. Alas we should have started this back in 1989 when the per capita energy/people started to drop, = more humans = less energy = less food = less humans.
    Why not have a discussion on how bloody inconvenient it is that water is wet, fire burns, or politicians lie?
    Sorry to bum ya all out with FACTS

    • ropata 12.1

      We are going to have to learn to live without the ‘luxury’ of keeping unproductive humans alive

      The fact is you are nuts.

      • Robert Atack 12.1.1

        ummmm I wonder what you would have called the Easter Islander that said “We are living on an island if we keep cutting down the trees, and breeding like rabbits, we are going to end up eating each other” ?.

        Calling me names only makes you look foolish, and will not make you or your children’s lives any longer or less depressing.

        • ropata 12.1.1.1

          How does your oracle of doom in any way justify eating each other?
          This is a resource-rich and stable society. I stand by my earlier comment.

          you’ve gone from drug testing to killing the poor to cannibalism!
          great effort. 😉

          • Robert Atack 12.1.1.1.1

            This is a resource-rich and stable society

            At the moment I agree 100% … ignoring all the druggie drop out dole bludgers and the people who ‘choose’ to frequent food banks etc.

            The last time this island was ‘resource rich’ was just before Maori arrived here, once they hit peak Moa it was all on, long pig ring a bell?

            If the idiot PTB can distribute all the food we could produce, without fossil fuel inputs, then we should fare reasonably ok, the main problem will be civil unrest and maintaining law and order.

            When you wake up one morning and discover you only have three days supply of food, and the super market down the road is still smouldering, maybe you will reflect back on this moment of optimism, ignorance and hope are bliss enjoy them while you can.

            Don’t watch this
            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VOMWzjrRiBg
            or this
            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fk9I0peQOmg

            The govt is going to screw ‘us’ down it is all part of the Chicago Club mind set
            Don’t watch this
            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7iW1SHPgUAQ

            So yeah ignoring the facts at this stage in plunge over the cliff is easy, but we are just about to gain momentum.

            Good luck

          • gnomic 12.1.1.1.2

            “This is a resource-rich and stable society.”

            Got a link for that, or are you just talking out of your nether regions? This country depends on imported fuel, food, and fertiliser. And when the borrowed money runs out, let’s see how stable the mix is.

            • Draco T Bastard 12.1.1.1.2.1

              Actually, once the borrowed money runs out this country will be even more stable.

              We may import food but we’re not dependent upon doing so – we can grow everything we need here.

              Fuel, don’t need it.

              Fertiliser can easily come from where the food goes anyway – the sewage treatment plants. Put in proper field rotation and that’ll work fine. Probably better than the artificial fertilisers that are used today.

  13. captain hook 13

    more to the point would be drug testing MP’s.
    the tory ones seem to be going off their rockers but maybe that is a natural high for manic depressives.
    anyway lets have a poll asking which one you think would fail the test!

    • Winston Peters for a starter

    • kiwi_prometheus 13.2

      Most of the Green Party…? LOL

      • xtasy 13.2.1

        I bet you that the Green MPs will show the lowest level of drug or alcohol use if compared with members of other parties numbering more than one MP!

        They are mostly also the most integre, transparent and reliable MPs by my experience.

        If you go on about “drugs”, include alcohol, please, the most widely used drug in NZ.

        That said, I can already visualise a few faces of various MPs who have showed up with strange looks on their faces and a bit of odd, eccentric behaviour in Parliament, coming rather from other parties.

        Your comment sadly shows you know NOTHING about the Green Party, their MPs and members.

        • kiwi_prometheus 13.2.1.1

          Well actually I voted green three times in a row in support of MMP small party counter balances, ending the 2 horse race etc. But their chance of getting control was zero so I could ignore some of their policies.

          I supported Sue Bradfords ‘Child Discipline Act’ as well. One of the few who voted yes anyway to the unfair loaded question “Should a smack as part of good parental correction be a criminal offence in New Zealand?”

          Thinking of voting Winnie next time just to piss off the wide open immigration floodgates crowd.

  14. kiwi_prometheus 14

    Its hilarious all the hand wringing on here about how to engage middle NZ and switched off voters.

    Take a look at yourselves, being pro drugs will NOT get you any traction.

    Skip the Helengrad Regime, which cultivated the biggest property bubble in NZ history, and when was the last time a genuine Left got power? 1000000 BC or there abouts.

    Hmmm, I wonder why?

    Sure rich people do drugs, presumably with their own ( maybe ill gotten) gains.

    Drug testing would be good. Why should my hard earn money subsidise someone’s RnR or habit?

    I don’t care if it cost more than it saves directly.

    Does that calculation include the gains from a lot of young people kicking their habit when they see the writing on the wall? At least they would be getting some message that drugs are wrong, because they aren’t getting it from their useless ( stoned? ) parents or pro drugs supporters like you lot.

    “Drugs are harmless!” – bullshit. I’ve been around the block a few times, the early rave scene etc. A bit of youthful experimenting, fine, whatever. I’ve seen what drugs do, the way it alters behaviour, attitudes and interpersonal relationships, even by “recreational occasional users”.

    • xtasy 14.1

      kiwi_prometheus:

      “Drugs are harmless!” – bullshit. I’ve been around the block a few times, the early rave scene etc. A bit of youthful experimenting, fine, whatever. I’ve seen what drugs do, the way it alters behaviour, attitudes and interpersonal relationships, even by “recreational occasional users”.

      Yes, by reading your post, I see some of the adverse results of “experimenting” with various drugs right before me.

      So it was good enough for you to find out “what drugs do”, but as the alwasy the wiser in retrospect thinking lecturer of twisted ideas of morals, you want to deny others the freedom to do what you did?

      This thread is not about legalising or justifying drug use, it is about the sense or rather nonsense of drug testing beneficiaries, while many who may hold jobs and drug at the same time, get off without facing such treatment. In common understanding that is discrimination.

      • kiwi_prometheus 14.1.1

        “while many who may hold jobs and drug at the same time” = paying for them with their own money not mine

        Why should I subsidise someone’s weed use?

        If you are on the unemployment benefit then I think you have some basic obligations to the tax payers who are supporting you.

        I don’t think it is unreasonable that they be expected to actively seek work or new skills.

        I don’t think it is unreasonable that they be expected to stay clean.

        The majority of them will not have a problem with this. Its a fairly easy non invasive test. I don’t think drug testing should apply to those only briefly or temporarily on the unemployment benefit.

        “Yes, by reading your post, I see some of the adverse results of “experimenting” with various drugs right before me.”

        Predictable cheap shot.

        “So it was good enough for you to find out “what drugs do”, but as the alwasy the wiser in retrospect thinking lecturer of twisted ideas of morals, you want to deny others the freedom to do what you did?”

        Only the ones doing it with taxpayer money.

        So what are you saying, if someone took drugs at some point in the past, they can NEVER NEVER take a anti drug stance the rest of their lives?

        You got the twisted morality there, eccy.

        • Draco T Bastard 14.1.1.1

          “while many who may hold jobs and drug at the same time” = paying for them with their own money not mine

          It’s not your money.

          • TighyRighty 14.1.1.1.1

            You always pop up with this particular comment. As if repeating ad nauseum somehow makes it true, thereby denying anyone the right to decide on their choice of representation in exchange for taxation. Isn’t that bennys “pay” tax an underlying argument for why they deserve a vote?

            • McFlock 14.1.1.1.1.1

               thereby denying anyone the right to decide on their choice of representation in exchange for taxation 

              The “taxation / representation” relationship isn’t a transaction. One is a right, the other is a duty. 
                    

               

            • xtasy 14.1.1.1.1.2

              Tight a*** Righty, if I may divulge a little, do we all not pay some “taxes”? And how much of YOUR supposed taxes, that you have failed to disclose to us in nominal figures, are you actually paying toward the “choice of representation” or being denied such instead? The benefit is a bottom line support payment, for those struggling to survive in a contry full o f milk, honey, meat and high level output also with fruits, vegetables, wine and the list goes on.

              So you rather wish to introduce an austerity society, so that the bottom line may be something along the system they have in rural Myanmar, in the Democratic Republic of Congo, in the remote corners of Paraguay or else? Let me know, please, I have friends there also, they OBJECT to being abused as an excuse for cheap labour and low standards in other areas, as they would love to work together with a more sensible and responsible NZ government, striving to advance ALL participants.

            • Draco T Bastard 14.1.1.1.1.3

              And the RWNJs always pop up saying that the money is theirs. Unfortunately for the RWNJs, reality is my side and not theirs as all the wealth belongs to the community. People just get to use some of it for a short time in any way they choose no matter how they got hold of it (as long as they didn’t get it through criminal action or are using it for criminal purposes).

            • Vicky32 14.1.1.1.1.4

              Isn’t that bennys “pay” tax an underlying argument for why they deserve a vote?

              Yes, we do pay tax, but that’s not why we ‘deserve’ a vote. We vote because we are citizens. Simple.

        • xtasy 14.1.1.2

          “Prometheus” has a connection with the God of Fire, was he not? Where is your “fire” or for that sake “spirit” for human kind?

          You should at least come clean and clear on what you have done, what you stand for, and how you treat other people!

          Going on about having indulged in drugs and then lecturing others is a bit of a poor showing, mate.

          A beneficiary has his or her benefit, tightly regimented for needs, so if she or he decides, maybe for ill health reasons, like not addressed addiction, to spend it on alcohol or drugs of another kind, what is your argument to go on a bout this? Offer the services to help addicts if they are, and otherwise allow a beneficiary, who is NOT an addict, to choose between going downtown and spend near to 30 bucks for bus and movie ticket, or to rather stay home one night and have a bit of beer or wine?

          You need to get your own life, dear, otherwise you would not be so angry and hateful, spending your night here, which needs more enlightened comments by more intelligent people, who are usually frequenting this forum. Take a nap or nip, have a toke or sip, take it easy, roll off, hug your girl or boy, phase out and bloody well cruise down into the night. We have no issue with you the issue is your own.

  15. Anna 15

    If we are to be testing beneficiaries, then we should be testing all the workers that work in government departments, all social workers,politicians especially, there are hardly many jobs to go round with all the migrants working here taking all the work leaving the rest with part time work here and there, and wagesnot much more than the benefit, the rich keep getting filthy rich and the middle to low income workers, are struggling to make ends meet.

  16. This has been tried elsewhere, and it costs more to implement than it catches, like most punitive benefit policies do. The simple fact is if you’re on a benefit you’d have to be a masterful budgeter or need very little in the way of food in order to actually afford drugs even once a year.

    Even if you believe in principle that beneficiaries should not be taking drugs, this is a stupid policy with no logical reason backing it up, it’s all about emotional appeal to benefit-bashing.

    • xtasy 16.1

      Maybe legalize after all, so marihuana can be grown commercially, create jobs in horticulture, processing and refining and so forth, creating a whole new industry? Hemp clothing, hemp high quality paper for the rich Asian market, a bit of medicinal purpose type organic “medication” and boosting tourism, just as Uruguay in South America is about to do it. Maybe that will become the Holland of Latin America down there?

      Put a little tax on it, the coffers will fill, and NZ will be “rolling” day and night, in high delight and pleasure, plus added economic output.

      “kiwi_prometheus” may also choose to revisit his abstinence and re-join the new economic boom to earn a little extra?

      It is not my priority and choice, but some may find this good?! Dear Paula, have a chat with Stephen Joyce, maybe create a whole new industry, “earning” money, rather than creating further costs with no pay-off.

  17. gnomic 17

    What this is really about —

    1/ Gratifying all the sad sour bastards on talkback radio who have to be drug tested according to their masters so they can sex chickens or drive forklifts or work on roading projects driving rollers or carry clipboards around sites wearing their hardhats and hi-viz jackets. Sod off killjoys.

    2/ Making sure the underclass have no alternative to trimming trees in the pine forests of the provinces on the minimum wage (or fill in any other laborious repetitive task, say milking cows) while free of any residues of THC. The insurance companies said so.

    3/ Fulfilling the objectives of the Wisconsin project on oppressing beneficiaries as programmed into the Bennett creature during her paid holiday in the US

    4/ Drugs are bad, unless they come from big pharma. Cannabis could not possibly have any medicinal uses. Alcohol of course is OK because people like us use it.

    5/ Smoking pot makes you think you can fly. The addicts immediately become incapable of walking in a straight line and knowing what time it is or of operating any kind of machinery. Except perhaps musical instruments, even then at a severely debased level.

    6/ It’s well known that straight people never have accidents. Rumours that a rigorously drug-tested mine site in the South Island exploded killing many workers must be false. Likewise drug-tested truck drivers never crash their vehicles.

    Need I go on?

  18. captain hook 18

    The national party is intoxicated with fantasies of omnipotence and it wants to deny anybody else the same pleasure.
    they want to bash up the poor and weak.
    so much easier than attacking the stupid rich.
    and if you want to know what God thinks about money just look at the sort of people he gives it to.

  19. Roy 19

    Problems with drug-testing beneficiaries include (1) that you can get enough THC in your system to fail the test just from side-stream smoke, and (2) you can fail the opiates test just by eating a poppy-seed bun. Furthermore there is negligible information on how THC in urine or saliva correlates to any degree of impairment. THC in particular has a long half-life so you could fail the test during the week because someone else was smoking a joint at a party you went to on Saturday night.
    I suppose the wowsers will tell me that beneficiaries should not be going to parties and should definitely not be able to afford poppy-seed buns, right?

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