Welfare recipients getting disability pension for drug-induced issues

1383 jobless Australians receive DSP due to drug or alcohol dependence. Source: Getty

Addicts are developing medical conditions that entitle them to the disability support pension (DSP), which is ironically being used to fund their drug and alcohol addictions. 

The Courier Mail reports that shocking data reveals 1383 jobless Australians receive DSP because their sole medical condition is either their drug or alcohol dependence.

About 1500 DSP recipients reportedly have psychiatric or psychological issues caused by abusing substances. 

Malcolm Turnbull told The Courier Mail, that fresh legislation will be introduced to trial drug testing for welfare recipients. 

The Turnbull Government was thwarted by the Senate when they tried to introduce widespread welfare drug testing earlier in the year after Labor argued it discriminated against low-income areas where drug use is more prevalent

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But Turnbull told The Courier Mail that the trial “will absolutely” go head. 

“It sure will, it absolutely will. People receiving welfare who are affected by drugs are failing to focus on securing work and so the drug testing measure was carefully designed to ensure it had that focus — getting people the help they need to overcome their drug issues.”

If the testing goes ahead around the country, DSP recipients will face strict rules around drug use and risk losing their pension if they test positive. 

Under the government plan, those who test positive will be placed on the cashless welfare card, and those who continuously fail tests may be asked to accept drug treatment as part of the program. 

Those who test positive for ice, ecstasy or marijuana will have to undergo another test within a month and 80 per cent of their welfare will be detained, meaning they will only receive $100 a fortnight. 

What are your thoughts? Do you think drug testing is fair?