Reports that two-thirds of beneficiaries who fail drug tests are still having their benefit sanctioned contradicts the Government’s so-called health approach to drugs. Auckland Action Against Poverty is calling on the Government to immediately act on its word and end the drug-test sanction regime.
“We’ve got a hypocritical Government punishing beneficiaries who fail drug-tests yet speaks of moving towards a health based approach to drug use, reassuring people it was not aiming to continue applying this sanction last year”, says Ricardo Menendez March, Auckland Action Against Poverty Coordinator.
“The drug-testing regime is not only expensive, but most people who are subjected to one don’t test positive for drug use. The people who test positive and have a substance abuse problem need support, not punishment.
When news of this broke last night that WINZ have been lying about punishing beneficiaries who fail drug tests, Green MP Jan Logie came out and said that she was shocked WINZ misled her.
Really? What else shocks the Green Party?
The sun rising?
Basic principles of electricity?
We know that WINZ have a toxic culture and that they are staffed by sadists who love the power imbalance they have over beneficiaries. We see time and time and time again abuses by the State on the most vulnerable and when they get caught out, what happens?
The only reason the head of Stats quit last week was because the mistake impacts people beyond the poor, it impacts electoral boundaries and Government spending.
WINZ are a neoliberal welfare agency focused on punishing the poor and beating them with a bloody great big stick, all Labour have done is put a small cushion on the stick.
Who the fuck is actually running things? The elected MPs or Wellington Bureaucrats?
Let me guess, no one will be punished at WINZ for deceiving our MPs.