Current policy commentary Essay Example


Current policy commentary

Current policy commentary on drug testing of welfare recipients

The current debate on passing of legislation that would require random drug testing of welfare recipients will substantially impact welfare practice. For persons who had been convicted of drug felony over the past ten years, their benefits will be reduced by 30 percent or disqualified permanently from receiving any form of assistance. I think the proponents of the drug testing were driven by the urge to ensure appropriate use of benefits and to save money. However, the opponents noted that it perpetuates a false belief and costs more than it saves. In areas with high levels of welfare dependency, there is always a commitment to reduce social harm. Engaging with welfare recipients will prevent them from incurring financial penalties at the earliest opportunity. Labor demand for work will increase because persons who had been convicted for drug abuse will be out looking for work as the risk of disqualification or reduction of benefits is high. Similarly, supply of labor is affected in the short-term because of the reduction in the stock of human capital with better health, skills and training.

Moreover, the 2017 budget changes on welfare make welfare very undesirable to the recipients. As most would not want to be run through the drug testing exercise, they would rather look for alternative forms of employment. In this regard, there would be more people looking for available jobs making the job market very competitive. Furthermore, I believe the reduction of benefits and the stigma that comes with receiving welfare benefits will drive people to hone their skills and become competitive in the job market. Nonetheless, I think that spending on social security and welfare is unsustainable as it involves making payments to people of working age who would otherwise be in active employment. As a result, the tax regime is reduced and it seeks to strains the welfare benefits paid to the elderly at home. I feel that the drug testing requirement has a benefit of reintroducing people with strong resolve to work without the influence of drugs. More people who would not want to have their benefits slashed by 30 percent will have to reduce their levels of drug or alcohol abuse.

On the other hand, the number of children will increase as more hours in spend on making and taking care of children. There will be less supply of labor to the market which kills the efficiency and competitiveness of human capital in highly productive industries. Although the 2017 budget is progressive and designed to amalgamate payments to job seekers, introducing drug testing will complicate the pursuit of benefits by the unemployed. I believe it arose from the changes in criminal sentencing which is a precondition for welfare payment subject to randomized drug tests for ecstasy, methamphetamine and cannabis. I believe that reducing the cash available to drug offenders will seek to increase the number of people applying for jobs with higher integrity and commitment. People who want to be exempt from job seeker requirements because of alcohol or drug abuse will have had their excuses sealed.