In an interview with an Australian news program aired Monday, a welfare recipient refused to apologize for spending taxpayer money on marijuana and crystal meth.
A man identified only as Adrian told A Current Affair that he receives more than $2,000 a month in disability support pension and rent assistance from the government.
“I could say ‘I’m sorry’ but it wouldn’t mean anything because tomorrow I’m just going to get out and get my drugs,” he told the news program.
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Adrian said he uses marijuana daily and methamphetamines once a week. His habit is funded by welfare payments.
“I can’t say I’m proud of it but I can say I do it,” he said.
The 30-year-old lives in a cluttered and messy apartment in Frankston, a suburb of Melbourne.
“Everyone keeps treating me like a pig because I sleep in this. Honestly, I could pay anyone around here $20 and they’d clean it up for me. I could clean it up myself in five minutes but I’m a king, I don’t need to,” he told A Current Affair.
According to Adrian, he budgets to ensure he can afford tobacco, rent and food first. Only then does he use taxpayer money to purchase narcotics.
“It works, trust me. It does work. You can budget for anything as long as you budget properly,” he said.
When asked what it would mean for him if his benefits were taken away, Adrian replied: “Better start working again.”
“I’m allowed to work part-time on my pension, but it’s hard to find a job. I don’t do anything. I’m a bum, I’m like the most useless bum in Australia,” he said.
The welfare debate in the United States
An ongoing Facebook poll conducted by A Current Affair showed the majority of respondents support drug-testing persons receiving government benefits.
MORE: Over 6 Million People Have Dropped Off Food Stamps Since Trump Took Office
Some in the United States, particularly conservatives, have argued that the requirements for enrollment on the nation’s welfare system are insufficiently stringent and encourage individuals to remain reliant on the government.
President Donald Trump’s administration, meanwhile, has taken steps to reduce the number of food stamp recipients in the country.
Data from the U.S. Agriculture Department shows that 6,268,285 individuals have left the food stamp program since Trump took office.
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