QCCL president, Michael Cope, said today, “The QCCL calls on the government to abandon proposals to drug test welfare recipients.”
“Drug testing welfare recipients has been tried in the United States and shown repeatedly to be an expensive failure, with the programs costing more than they save” said Mr Cope.
Welfare recipients are no more likely to use drugs than the rest of the population.
Mr Cope said,” Random drug testing is an unreasonable search. People should only be subject to drug tests where they are suspected of wrong doing.”
The US example shows drug testing was less effective in identifying drug abuse than less invasive, cheaper methods.
The rationale for testing welfare recipients would by logical extension apply to the entirety of our population that receives some public benefit and/or is a parent.
Linking the tests to the welfare card does not assist as many questions over the costs and benefits of that program remain.
“In the end, you cannot lead people to take responsibility for the own lives by treating them like children,” says Mr Cope.
In 1948 the world, including Australia agreed that everyone has “the right to security in the event of unemployment, sickness, disability, widowhood, old age or other lack of livelihood in circumstances beyond his control.”
This right inheres in human beings and is an entitlement of every human being.