How much of our $150b welfare goes up in smoke?

AUSTRALIA has always prided itself on being the land of the fair go.

But how far do we really have to go in giving those who don't want to work a free ride?

Today's Daily Telegraph reports that the rate at which people are being rejected for a disability pension is at it highest in a decade.

While no-one argues that people with a genuine disability needs support, not everyone who applies for the $782 a fortnight scheme should get it.

I have a relative on a disability pension. 

He spends far more on cigarettes in a fortnight than many pensioners would spend on food.

I wouldn't mind if it was his money.

But it's not. It's yours and mine.

And the end result is we will all have to fork out more money for his hospital care when his body finally gives in to smoking-related diseases.

As a nation, we can't afford to keep paying for welfare recipients' smoking and booze habits.

Give them money for food and clothing. But not vices most taxpayers could not afford.

As a nation, we are already forking out almost $150 billion a year to fund our welfare bill and that number is predicted to balloon out to ­almost $190 billion.

The federal government has promised to get tougher on those who abuse the system.

They should, while being careful to ensure those that really need support, get it.

I, for one, would rather see my hard earned taxes going to support parents of disabled children than those with marginal disabilities who want to blow their welfare payments on cigarettes.

WHAT DO YOU THINK? Should those on welfare be subjected to tighter controls on what they can spend their money on?

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