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USING THE BUDGET TO STIGMATISE PEOPLE IS CRUEL - Media Release

USING THE BUDGET TO STIGMATISE PEOPLE IS CRUEL

I am very concerned by a plan the Turnbull Government announced in Tuesday’s budget to start randomly drug-testing welfare recipients.

This government is obsessed with “cracking down” on people with the lowest incomes in our society – whether they are on penalty rates or struggling with drug addictions. Meanwhile the government is happy to give the most wealthy a tax cut.

Stigmatising people with drug addiction rather than providing necessary support through rehabilitation is cruel. A number of people with drug addictions also have underlying mental health issues.

Tasmania already has a shortage of drug treatment services and if the government really cared about unemployed people with drug addictions, it would increase funding for treatment programs so more people have a chance to get back on their feet.

I think Senator Lambie has made a very good point in calling for politicians to be tested as well. Why only single out the unemployed?

Otherwise, this policy will just punish people with drug addictions, and make it harder for them to contribute to their communities and our society.

Senator Singh is the Deputy Chair of the Parliamentary Law Enforcement Committee which has been conducting an inquiry into crystal methamphetamine use in Australia.

THURSDAY, 11 MAY 2017

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