Tasmanian Senator Jacqui Lambie has once again hit back at the Coalition’s reheated plan to drug test welfare recipients, saying she will only support it if politicians are subjected to similar drug tests themselves.
SBS reports the independent pollie lashed out at the proposal yesterday, telling reporters that her colleagues in Canberra should volunteer themselves for similar tests if they’re willing to enforce the policy on those doing it tough.
“If you’ve got nothing to hide up there in that big white house then it’s now your turn to go and do that random drug and alcohol test,” Lambie said.
“What’s wrong with you people, might miss a few wines after 8 o’clock at night will we? That’ll keep the backbenchers in line.”
She reiterated her view on Twitter, saying “why just pick on poor people?”
If the Govt is saying that welfare recipients should be drug tested because they are on the public purse then by that logic everyone else being paid by the taxpayer should also be subject to drug testing why just pick on poor people? #auspol
— Jacqui Lambie (@JacquiLambie) September 8, 2019
Her stance isn’t new. Lambie, who has addressed the Senate about her past experiences as a single mother on welfare, has bashed previous attempts to enforce drug tests on Newstart and Youth Allowance recipients without turning the same tests on cashed-up pollies.
That outcry comes as Prime Minister Scott Morrison tries to sell his government’s new welfare agenda. Speaking to The Age on Sunday, he unleashed this choice quote: “Being on drugs stops you getting a job. It’s that simple.”
But the other prong of the Coalition’s planned welfare shakeup – their hopes to trial the cashless welfare card on a national basis – has Lambie’s support.
That particular plan has faced its own share of opposition. The Greens stand against it, and in July, Australian Council of Social Services CEO Cassandra Goldie said the cashless card system is “grossly unfair, impractical, demeaning, unproven and expensive.”
The proposed welfare reforms are set for debate this week.