Foreign aid and asylum seekers

Advocates for an increase in Australia’s refugee intake, including through asylum seekers arriving on boats, claim that it is Australia’s moral duty and that it provides aid to the dispossed and foreign poor. For example, Julian Burnside said

We diminish ourselves by the way we treat them [asylum seekers]. Once we recognise that these people are human beings, we will see that the problem is in truth a moral problem and that we have made a profound mistake in the way we have handled it.

Yet there are clear costs to Australia from an increased number of asylum seekers arriving, including processing costs, detention costs, social security costs, and so forth. Some estimates of the cost of the Rudd and Gillard governments change in policy place it around $1 billion in 2011-12.

Why not treat this cost as part of Australia’s foreign aid and take it from the aid budget? Is it not for the same purposes as foreign aid (according to advocates)? If the government has decided to spend some of the aid budget on asylum seekers, so be it. That’s a policy decision which can be analysed for its efficacy: does the $1 billion spent on asylum seekers in Australia lead to greater or less poverty alleviation than an equivalent amount spent on some aid project overseas?

But did the Government outline that it was increasing its aid budget in two ways: first by targeting an increase in the official development assistance (ODA) to Gross National Income (GNI) ratio from 0.34% in 2009?10 to 0.5 per cent by 2015?16, and second by changing policies to encourage more asylum seekers to enter Australia. The latter should be counted as ODA.

Recognising that the definition of ODA is fairly static, the Government could announce on 8 May 2012 in its Budget that its target for ODA is to be changed to 0.5 per cent by 2015-16 less any legitimate expenses relating to processing and caring for asylum seekers.

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65 Responses to Foreign aid and asylum seekers

  1. Peter Patton says:

    While Burnside no doubt has some worthwhile things to do say about corporate law, I’m not sure why any media would report his epistles on ‘morality’, ‘truth’, and his crystal ball gazing that ‘we’ will recognise his omniscience one day. He’s just been sucking a bit hard on the incense bong. Two jihads on him.

  2. blogstrop says:

    We now have an open door policy. The continual bleat that more come by plane ignores the false ID or no ID question – people coming by plane are more readily traceable. The boat trips cost more per passenger, why is that? Stories can be adjusted, ID can be explained away, that’s why.
    So what happens next? Do they charter a larger, safer boat and bring in a couple of thousand at a time? Probably not if it involves proper ID.
    Where the money comes from is secondary to the basic issue of do we control our borders or not?

  3. Fisky says:

    There is no morality involved at all, because the numbers remain roughly the same. What changes is the method and the identity of the refugees. The Left desperately want the refugees to be Muslim because they will more likely vote Labor/Green. That’s probably also why the vetting staff at the Cairo embassy are apparently all Muslim Egyptians.

    If the Liberals win the election, they must completely shut down the boats, sack all of the embassy staff across the Middle East, and replace them with Copts and Maronites only. Then put out the word that we are open to all persecuted minorities in the M/E and bring as many in as feasible.

    We must smash Labor demographically and create an unassailable electoral majority for the next generation.

  4. Norman Hanscombe says:

    If only the concept of morality was as simple an open and shut case as contributors seem to assume. Human ‘thinking’ was always a fuzzy affair, but postmodernism has managed to blur it even further.

  5. daddy dave says:

    I always liked Terje’s immigration policy: open door, subject to the usual checks (disease, criminality, terrorist links still get excluded) but you have to pay $50,000 to immigrate to Australia. This does several things:
    1. it kills the trafficking trade stone dead;
    2. entrants have proven that they can support themselves, and you’ll naturally get a higher mix of professionals and business people;
    3. even if they go on welfare, at least part of the costs are already covered;
    4. there’s a real commitment to their new country.

    Incidentally America already has this policy but the price is much higher.

  6. Fisky says:

    It’s an OK policy, DD. But I like the idea of simply overwhelming Labor by importing a few million people who are hostile to everything it stands for, and stacking them into marginal seats.

  7. daddy dave says:

    You mean, like Coptic Christians fleeing persecution in Egypt?

  8. jupes says:

    The moral thing for the Australian government to do is to look after the interests of the Australian people.

    I’m not against immigration but I am against immigrants who self select, are a financial burden or are a potential danger to the Australian people. Boat people tick all these boxes.

    The moral thing for the Australian government to do is stop the boats and to not allow a single boat person become an Australian citizen.

  9. Carpe Jugulum says:

    Where i have a question is with the latest load of boaties.

    How the fuck were these people able to be phoning other ethnic Hazaras from Indonesia, and how did they know the phone number of Paul Rintoul from the refugee action collective when they first left Indonesia.

    The question is, is Rintoul working with people smugglers?

  10. TerjeP says:

    Daddy Dave – I don’t mind having the idea refered to as mine but to be fair I’m just a messenger. Others came up with the concept.

    I think one good aspect of the policy is that it neutralised any concerns about immigrants free riding on our public infrastructure. It essentially makes them pay for the portion they use.

    http://blog.libertarian.org.au/2011/02/13/giving-away-our-sovereignty/

  11. jupes says:

    The question is, is Rintoul working with people smugglers?

    No, but he knows someone who is.

  12. Borisgodunov says:

    Well I feel there are too many hijabs around! Its an obscenity ! Like importing Porn . Where are the european Christians we need ? The ones who will Assimilate ,like the ones who came here 50years ago ?

  13. Neil says:

    The continual bleat that more come by plane ignores the false ID or no ID question

    The only asylum seekers that come by plane that I have met are students on a student visa. After getting their Honours, PhD’s they like it so much here and invent some cock and bull story about how dangerous it is to go home.

    That is why the success rate for people who fly in is so low. Their stories are false.

    It would be interesting to know what percentage of people who fly in are seeking asylum rather than students who do not want to go home.

  14. wreckage says:

    Well I feel there are too many hijabs around! Its an obscenity ! Like importing Porn .

    Switch to decaff.

  15. Fisky says:

    You mean, like Coptic Christians fleeing persecution in Egypt?

    Yep, they’re the priority. We should try and bring in a million of their best.

  16. Abu Chowdah says:

    The obscenity is importing any unit from any culture that disagrees with the principles of freedom and democracy that have shaped our national character. Unless you want to chip away at that character.

  17. Peter Patton says:

    The idea that we should let in Coptic Xians is just sick. We should preference Han Chinese and Jews. After that, Hindus, Xians, Muslims, and the rest need to take an IQ test.

  18. jupes says:

    Peter Patton you would take Muslims before Coptic Christians?

    Why?

  19. Peter Patton says:

    Because they had a higher IQ! Hullo!?

  20. jupes says:

    Oh hi.

    Are you drinking and posting again?

  21. Peter Patton says:

    WTF, You want more third world Arab spastics given preference to move here!?

  22. blogstrop says:

    If they’re Christian it’s a good start, we can work with that.

  23. Peter Patton says:

    No, it is most absolutely not. Without a compensating high IQ, they are even worse than bog-Irish Roman Catholics. When we have choice, we don’t need to pick from the bottom of the barrel.

  24. wreckage says:

    Only Coptics I’ve met are doctors.

  25. Peter Patton says:

    Jews and Han Chinese are a million times preferable to peasant, toothless, spastic Xians.

  26. jupes says:

    WTF, You want more third world Arab spastics given preference to move here!?

    That’s obviously a yes to my previous question.

    I don’t care what race people are. It’s their culture I worry about. Also I don’t think it’s good for Australia to allow people with disabilities to immigrate.

  27. Peter Patton says:

    wreckage

    In which case, they’ll pass any test with flying colours.

  28. Chris M says:

    ^ another ranting God-hater.

    How about the pork sausage test? On arrival you are greeted with a sizzling BBQ and the first job is to chow down on a plate of them.

  29. wreckage says:

    allow people with disabilities

    Even if that were a problem, and much of the time it’s not, I doubt it’d get above the statistical noise level. Why bother worrying?

  30. Peter Patton says:

    No Chris, how about a BRAIN test. “God hater”? God doesn’t ask for permission to emigrate FFS.

  31. Sea Wolf says:

    Who does Burnside think he represents? I recognise every stray and waif begging at my feet as a human being. Their situation has the better part of bugger all to do with my morality. Invariably it’s a statement of theirs….

    The profound mistake lies in the belief that their situation overrides our sovereignty as a nation and as a citizenry that abides by laws enacted by the likes of Burnside.

  32. wreckage says:

    another ranting God-hater.

    How about the pork sausage test?

    Why would we be trying to exclude Jews? PP wouldn’t, since he is deeply aroused by higher than average IQ’s.

  33. daddy dave says:

    okay, this thread has rapidly degenerated below the standards of the open thread. Which in this case, is particularly pathetic.

    On this occasion I blame Peter Patton. Peter, mate, lift your game.

  34. daddy dave says:

    Peter: WTF? Seriously.

  35. jupes says:

    allow people with disabilities

    I wasn’t worrying. I was refering to PP’s reference to spastics.

  36. Fisky says:

    Peter destroyed the thread when he claimed that Coptic Christians had lower IQ than Muslims. This is obviously nonsense – they controlled half the economy before Nasser took over.

    Peter is in his crazy old queer mode again.

  37. Fisky says:

    The obscenity is importing any unit from any culture that disagrees with the principles of freedom and democracy that have shaped our national character.

    Abu, you probably know more about that part of the world than the rest of us – what’s wrong with the Copts?

  38. dover_beach says:

    Jews and Han Chinese are a million times preferable to peasant, toothless, spastic Xians.

    I don’t mind peasant, toothless, spastic Christians, Muslims, Hindus, whatever, so long as they are hard-working, faithful, honor their mother and father, and so on.

  39. dover_beach says:

    This is obviously nonsense – they controlled half the economy before Nasser took over.

    Yes, quite true.

  40. jupes says:

    I don’t mind peasant, toothless, spastic Christians, Muslims, Hindus, whatever, so long as they are hard-working, faithful, honor their mother and father, and so on.

    Why is being faithful and honoring their mother and father more important than assimilation?

    I don’t care how faithful immigrants are or what they think of their father and mother as long as they aren’t a drain on taxpayers, respect our way of life, don’t try to live by their laws rather than ours and don’t try to kill us.

  41. dover_beach says:

    Why is being faithful and honoring their mother and father more important than assimilation?

    That is a very strange comment.

  42. Anyway…..
    Burnside’s comments are as usual a weaselly torrent of begged questions.
    We DO recognise them as human.
    They compete for resources with others who we ALSO recognise as human – the citizens of Australia.
    Those charged with the responsibility to manage our borders have a moral duty to consider ALL those interests, and tend to give priority to those to whom they have the greatest duty.
    Prioritising the use of finite resources on behalf of citizens IS a moral problem – no one said it wasn’t.
    Whether it’s a mistake, how profound it is and how far we have diminished ourselves are all moot, you pompous, armchair-dwelling, risk-free twat.

  43. jupes says:

    I don’t mind peasant, toothless, spastic Christians, Muslims, Hindus, whatever, so long as they are hard-working, faithful, honor their mother and father, and so on.

    That is a very strange comment.

  44. Fisky says:

    Racist Jordanian government is planning to cancel the citizenship of over a million Palestinians:

    http://hurryupharry.org/2012/04/15/palestinians-face-loss-of-citizenship/

    The Left: ” “

  45. dover_beach says:

    No, it isn’t jupes. But you saying that “being faithful” and “honoring their mother and father” was in some way contrary to “assimilation” even though the former are central to the Western tradition was, indeed, very strange. And this leaves aside that “being faithful” can also mean “respect our way of life, don’t try to live by their our laws rather than ours and don’t try to kill us”.

  46. sdog says:

    If MMk50 reckons those of us on the Open Fred have been at the sherbet, he needs to run his breathalyzer past this one.

    Jews and Han Chinese are a million times preferable to peasant, toothless, spastic Xians.

    Trololololol!

  47. Abu Chowdah says:

    Abu, you probably know more about that part of the world than the rest of us – what’s wrong with the Copts?

    Nothing, generally. Also nothing wrong with Muslim immigration, either. Just, in all cases, we need to be discerning. Educated? Pluralistic? Believe in democracy? Equality of the sexes? Come on in!

    The test should be tougher in all cases and queue jumping should be an automatic sin-bin FOR ALL.

  48. mareeS says:

    Just scrolling through the comments at a late stage. It’s gotten a bit fiery, but speaking as a not-so-bog-Irish-Catholic Australian (thanks PP), I’d rather see more Egyptian Copts, Burmese Buddhists, Lebanese Maronites or Canadian protestants than that bunch of muslim peasants from the Bekhar Valley who are shooting the shit out of Sydney at present.

    Biggest mistake this country ever made was to let that lot in (thank you, Malcolm Fraser).

    Along with the return of TPVs, I hope the forthcoming LNP government will introduce legislation restricting social security and associated benefits to individuals who have paid tax for five years (not necessarily in consecutive years), or who bring along a sizeable cash bond.

    Also, mandatory bathing would be nice for recent arrivals of the (ahem) african persuasion, because downwind can be a terrible place. Nasty me.

  49. Abu Chowdah says:

    Yep. The Lebanese concession opened the door to some evil hillbillies.

  50. mareeS says:

    Abu, where I live is remarkably free of Bekhar peasants and camel shaggers. If you think Cronulla and Maroubra gave them a send-off, you should see our beach, where the mental razor wire is 20m high and Mo don’t surf (Charlie is quite welcome).

    This place has been remarkably good at accepting anyone who wants to be good people. Some africans are getting a bit of a lesson in being good people at present, especially from certain indigenous cuzzens (maybe it’s a case of being too black rather than not black enough), but it seems to be working out without mass knifings and muggings and such.

    Maybe also it’s a matter of having only one mosque in a population of 250k and the fact that the attendees are mostly malay and indonesian, and generally nice people, apart from some of the saudi and iraqi arseholes who throw their weight around at the local uni.

  51. JC says:

    Why not treat this cost as part of Australia’s foreign aid and take it from the aid budget? Is it not for the same purposes as foreign aid (according to advocates)? If the government has decided to spend some of the aid budget on asylum seekers, so be it. That’s a policy decision which can be analysed for its efficacy: does the $1 billion spent on asylum seekers in Australia lead to greater or less poverty alleviation than an equivalent amount spent on some aid project overseas?

    That’s an excellent way of doing it Samuel. Agree totally.

  52. C.L. says:

    Yeah, good idea.

  53. sdog says:

    “Also, mandatory bathing would be nice for recent arrivals of the (ahem) african persuasion”

    Huh. Smelliest guy I ever met in Australia was a Belgian, actually. Big fat smelly racist prick. White. Had to work with him in close quarters on a drill ship, so believe you me I know whereof I speak. I’ve met a lot of smelly Poms, too, for that matter. Not to mention the native-born swampies.

    Speaking of mandatory hygiene regimes, how about someone forcing the bloody Poms (and half of the Aussies, present company excluded I’m sure) to clean their teeth once in a while? Look at the average Aussie pollie: exquisitely bred, expensively educated, and then…? Gah! I mean, what’s up with that?

    /stereotypes ‘r’ us

  54. Abu Chowdah says:

    Plus Belgium has the highest per capita incidence of rape dungeons.

  55. sdog says:

    True fact, that. Australia could do worse than to close its borders to Belgians. And Poms.

  56. CraigS says:

    Thanks JC, I was beginning to wonder if anyone was actually going to address the point of the post.

    I agree this cost should be considered foreign aid, and in addition I have always considered the costs (and substance) of Australia’s military forays into Iraq, Afghanistan, Timor, and the Solomon islands to be foreign aid.

    If spending huge chucks of change in another sovereign country for their peace and well-being isn’t foreign aid what is?

  57. Blogstrop says:

    The bookkeeping aspect is relatively minor compared with the whole open border fiasco. Take the money from wherever you like.

  58. CraigS says:

    The bookkeeping aspect is relatively minor compared with the whole open border fiasco. Take the money from wherever you like.

    Not quite, given the trend to quote foreign aid as a percentage of GDP and then compare it to other countries (many of whom don’t undertake peace keeping etc)including these additional items may enable us to lower the overall waste on the type of aid programs that only aid administrators and civil servants.

  59. Winston SMITH says:

    For Gods sake, pull the drawbridge up, make Islam a criminal organisation and chuck out all its adherents. Tell the UN to go to hell.
    Problem solved.

  60. Peter Patton says:

    dd, fuck off. If you think stinking up Australia by importing the world’s nutty religious conflicts is a good thing for Australia, then boy are you in for some push back. Not on my watch. This country has been very diligent and so far relatively successful in domesticating religious friction, so there is no way we are going to encourage it through immigration channels. We’ve only barely put to bed the consequences of Fraser/Hawkeating manipulation of religion in immigration policy.

  61. kelly liddle says:

    …second by changing policies to encourage more asylum seekers to enter Australia. The latter should be counted as ODA.

    It definately should not be as it destroys developement in the country the “refugees” come from. Removing doctors and engineers from dirt poor countries so they can work in factories and drive cabs in Australia is a major detriment to the country from which they came. This is easy to confirm as the majority of illegal immigrants will always be the middle class as they have the resources to travel someone on $2 per day does not. It also follows that they are not highly oppressed as they haven’t been oppressed economically being at least in the top 50% of wealth in the country from where they came in most cases.

  62. blogstrop says:

    … given the trend to quote foreign aid as a percentage of GDP …

    Like Winston says, tell them where to go.

  63. wreckage says:

    It definately should not be as it destroys developement in the country the “refugees” come from. Removing doctors and engineers from dirt poor countries so they can work in factories and drive cabs in Australia is a major detriment to the country from which they came.

    So- we must stop these horrible bastard doctors from leaving the shit-holes they rightfully live in?

    Don’t doctors and engineers, etc. usually arrive as skilled migrants?

  64. kelly liddle says:

    Don’t doctors and engineers, etc. usually arrive as skilled migrants?

    Yes probably but that has nothing to do with my point of what sort of people refugees are that arrive here. Only skilled people or business people will have the money to travel here.

    We stop most people leaving the shitholes as you call them from coming here. It comes down to which countries we recognise as having refugees and has nothing to do with how much of a shithole it is only is their a military conflict there we recognise. The point has nothing to do with the individual and I never said someone is bad for wanting a better life. They are an asset to the country and if many leave the shithole becomes a much worse shithole for those left.

  65. Cory Olsen says:

    @ Kelly, I disagree. If highly skilled professionals with a big wad of cash and a competent grasp of the English language wish to migrate legally to Australia why should we oppose them?

    If you look at high skilled migrants from Asia (say from Taipei or Shanghai)the place they are leaving is more developed then the place they
    are arriving, ie we have skills shortages and they don’t.

    On the other hand you make a fairly compelling argument to prevent UK & mainland European (ie Greece) migration to Australia. We wouldn’t’ want their nations becoming “shit holes” now would we?

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