Lauren Smit

You work for 14 years to pay for one 'dole bludger'

HARDWORKING, average-earning Australians have to toil away for 14 years to pay the dole for just one lazy jobseeker.

The Turnbull Government will today reveal the financial cost to Australians, who get out of bed to work, pay taxes and subsidise bludgers who ­repeatedly snub mutual obligation requirements.

Social Services Minister Christian Porter will today use the shocking new data to back the introduction of the Social Services Legislation Amendment (Welfare Reform) Bill, which includes plans to drug test new welfare recipients.

The Courier-Mail understands sites are being considered in Queensland where there are high rates of ice use.

Jobless Australians who ­receive Newstart or Austudy have to meet mutual obligations, such as looking for work, applying for jobs, training, studying or volunteering.

Priority Investment Approach data released yesterday revealed that there were 93,327 persistently non-compliant job seekers in the first two quarters of 2016.

Modelling shows about one-third of the unemployed cohort who snub their obligations will be on welfare for 15 years in their working-age life.

The average cost for them is $222,000 during their working age life. That means someone earning about the average wage, who pays about $15,000 tax a year, has to work for 14 years to pay their welfare bill.

Mr Porter said last night the data highlighted the need to strengthen the welfare system.

"Too many people are not meeting the requirements attached to their welfare.''

Under the plan, job seekers who return an initial positive drug test will still get their welfare payment, but it will be quarantined for essential living costs. Strike two would mean referral to a substance abuse specialist for treatment options that will form part of their ­mutual obligations.