84% of Australians believe politicians should be drug tested and have their pay docked if they test positive, a new survey has found.
A majority of Australians believe politicians should be forced to undergo the same drug tests the government is proposing for Centrelink recipients, according to an online survey by YouGov and Fifty Acres taken in the last week.
The survey also found:
- 86% think MPs and Senators should have their pay reduced if they fail to turn up to Parliament.
- Older Aussies want more out of their elected representatives, with 95% of over 55s in favour of punishing pollies for not going to work.
A series of politicians - including prime minister Malcolm Turnbull, treasurer Scott Morrison, finance minister Mathias Cormann and social services minister Christian Porter - have said they'd happily take a drug test.
In last week's Budget the government announced its controversial plan to drug test 5,000 people on Newstart and Youth Allowance for ecstasy, marijuana and methamphetamine, including ice, from January next year.
Welfare recipients who test positive will be moved onto a cashless debit card – similar to the cashless “Healthy Welfare” card – for up to two years, and will have to complete further drug tests.
After a second positive test, they will be referred to a medical professional and assessed as to whether they require treatment as part of their job plan.
The policy, which Turnbull described as being "based on love", has been criticised by drug and alcohol experts, academics, welfare groups and called "misguided" by the prime minister's favourite charity.
But it appears to be a winner with a majority of voters.
65% of Australians agree with the two-year drug testing trial and 71% agree with the government's demerit point plan to reduce or cancel payments for welfare recipients who fail to turn up to appointments or job interviews.
Alice Workman is a political reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in Canberra.
Contact Alice Workman at email@example.com.
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