Senator Jacqui Lambie Wants Politicians To Be Tested For Drugs And Alcohol
Australia's Prime Minister is preparing to bring the issue of drug testing welfare recipients back into the political discussion when parliament resumes this week.
The idea has lead to cheers and jeers across from MPs and the public.
The plan, if it gets approved, would be to introduce a two year trial in three suburbs across three states, where 5,000 people on Newstart or Youth Allowance would submit to a test that would check for ice, ecstasy, marijuana, cocaine and heroin.
However Senator Jacqui Lambie has said she will only support the measure if politicians get drug tested as well.
"If the Govt is saying that welfare recipients should be drug tested because they are on the public purse then by that logic everyone else being paid by the taxpayer should also be subject to drug testing why just pick on poor people?" she wrote on Twitter.
According to SBS, when questioned on the matter, Lambie double downed with: "I want to see the politicians up there grow a spine and you don't go and put something on someone else that you don't expect to put on yourself.
"If you've got nothing to hide up there in that big white house then it's now your turn to go and do that random drug and alcohol test. What's wrong with you people, might miss a few wines after 8 o'clock at night will we? That'll keep the backbenchers in line."
If the Govt is saying that welfare recipients should be drug tested because they are on the public purse then by that logic everyone else being paid by the taxpayer should also be subject to drug testing why just pick on poor people? #auspol- Jacqui Lambie (@JacquiLambie) September 8, 2019
Well, it seems like Scott Morrison has 'no problem' with that idea.
He said: "This is a requirement for many occupations these days. That should be considered for its own reasons, but this plan is about helping people get off welfare, off the dole and into work."
That last bit has been the line the Coalition has been spouting since last week, saying this measure is about getting people off welfare and into the workforce.
However, the drug testing plan has been criticised by health groups saying it won't work.
St Vincent's Health Australia Chief Executive Toby Hall wrote for the ABC, saying: "I share the government's stated intention of helping addicts access treatment while keeping them in touch with employment and training.
"But this is not the way to go about it."
St Vincent's was one of many organisations or groups who made a submission to the government's Senate inquiry into the bill.
Others include the Australian Medical Association, the Royal Australasian College of Physicians, the Public Health Association of Australia, the Kirby Institute, the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists.
Featured Image Credit: Jacqui Lambie