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National will help addicts help themselves

National will help addicts help themselves

Under National, substance abusers receiving the benefit will be reassessed and put into community work if appropriate, says National’s Welfare spokeswoman, Judith Collins.

She is commenting on reports that the cost of supporting beneficiaries who cannot work because of sickness or disability caused by substance abuse has climbed by more than 50 per cent in the past four years.

According to reports there are 3500 addicts who are not working, and are getting $800,000 of taxpayer-funded benefits a week.

“The cost to the taxpayer of supporting substance abusers has risen dramatically. Obviously the current system is not working,” says Ms Collins.

“Clearly, not enough is being done to monitor their progress and actively help them into work.

“National has signalled it wants a more consistent approach to the assessment of those applying for the sickness and invalids’ benefits. We have also said that those who are able, should be undertaking community work or retraining where appropriate.

“I simply do not accept that all 3500 addicts on the sickness and invalids’ benefits are unable to do anything to help themselves or their communities,” says Ms Collins.


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