Drug Testing A Smoke Screen
Kay Brereton the media spokesperson for the Beneficiary Advocacy Federation of New Zealand is critical of the
announcement by Minister Bennett that drug testing of beneficiaries is necessary.
“Mrs Bennett states that too many people are missing out on job opportunities because of drug use, she cites no evidence
for this view, and this is because she has no evidence.
The Government continues its campaign of beneficiary bashing, this time implying that many beneficiaries are choosing
drug use over employment.
There is already mechanism within Work and Income policy to sanction people who fail or refuse a drug test, but to make
them pay the cost of the test is a new and punitive measure.
The proposed increased emphasis on drug testing will result in people being referred to work in industries requiring
drug testing, as a mechanism to stop people's benefits.
What will people who have their benefits stopped for drug use do for money?
While it is important that people are available for work when on a work tested benefit, it is essential that Work and
Income resources are put into strategies which are value for money and evidence based, rather than knee jerk and