Labor’s refugee plan to cost $6bn over 10 years

March 08, 2019

Bill Shorten’s plans to lift the annual humanitarian immigration refugee intake to 32,000 will cost the budget an extra $6.2 billion.

The Conservative Party's policy is to halve our immigration rate because it's not meeting our economic, social or cultural needs.

The Australian reports, the analysis, which covers a government-wide breakdown includ­ing­­ settlement, welfare and health costs associated with the present humanitarian program, shows a deteriorating structural position in the budget under Labor plans to effectively double last year’s humanitarian intake.

The annual cost of managing the program for new entrants beyond­ 2019-20 would rise from $624 million this year to more than $4.3bn a year by 2028-29. This would compound over time and degrade existing services.

With population and urban congestion already a hot-button issue in the major capital cities, the government will seek to paint Labor’s plans as socially and fiscal­ly unsustainable, with the planned increase set to add 52,000 people to the intake over four years.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison told The Australian yesterday it was a “betraya­l of priorities” and the natio­n “would be paying for it for decades”.

“There is no policy argument to increase the intake when we are already facing strong popul­ation pressures and, secondly, when our existing program, while the best in the world, still has challenges in getting people settled­ and into work,” Mr Morrison told The ­Australian.

“The great risk here is that it will cost taxpayers $6bn and put at risk the services already ­experi­encing pressure under the current program.”

He said there were already challenges settling the present­ intake­, with unemployment and welfare assistance­ levels “many times higher than any other visa class”.

Conservative Party leader Cory Bernardi has told Paul Murray Live on Sky News, with global economic headwinds gathering strength, the only way to protect the health of the Australian economy is to take out third party insurance by voting for your common sense, principled Conservative Party candidate in the Senate at the next federal election. 

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