Australia To Drug-Test Welfare Recipients—Program Called “Discriminatory”

Australia's prime minister malcolm turnbull describes drug-testing welfare recipients as an "act of love"

Malcolm Turnbull’s Describes Drug-Testing Welfare Recipients as “Act of Love”

Australia’s 2017 Federal Budget is proving controversial—not because it’s ridiculous, which is what we’re used to in America, but because it embraces a modicum of common sense.

At issue: the budget includes a provision to drug-test at-risk welfare recipients, and if they fail, they will need to comply with an income management scheme to ensure that government money isn’t spent on drugs.

This program would be tested in a few locations, before being expanded nation-wide.

On its face, it sounds reasonable: government money shouldn’t be used to feed people’s drug habits.

But activist groups have slammed the scheme, saying that it discriminates against the poor and ethnic minorities.

The leader of the Green Party, Richard Di Natale, went so far as to describe it as a “violation of human rights.”

Of course, it doesn’t, and it isn’t

It discriminates against drug addicts: if you don’t do drugs, then this law won’t effect you.


And of course, there is no “human right” to use government handouts to buy coke or meth—at least no legally recognized right.

Australia’s Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull defended the policy, saying that it’s motivated by love and commitment to support vulnerable Australians.

Turnbull said that it’s “a policy based on love.”

He went on to say:

I think it is pretty obvious that welfare money should not be used to buy drugs… If you love someone who is addicted to drugs, if you love someone whose life is destroyed by drugs, don’t you want to get them off drugs?

Time will tell if Australians feel the same way.

Either way Americans should watch the success, or failure, of this program carefully: it could serve as a viable model for dealing with our own drug problems.

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