Treating asylum seekers badly is expensive

Treating asylum seekers badly and trying to keep them from technically landing on the Australian mainland turns out to be very expensive for the taxpayer:

AUSTRALIA spent more than $12.5 million deporting people last year and more than $2m flying them to and from Christmas Island.

Such a waste of money – good work Howard and Rudd, trying to create a “solution” that enabled you to say that technically, people weren’t actually reaching Australia. And you’ve spent even more building the damn facility now, so you’ve locked yourselves – and the rest of us – in! Well done.

Roofs?! Couldn’t we save some money by making them sleep in tents?

The first News Ltd reader who takes the $12.5 million figure and pretends it represents asylum seekers being treated “better than ordinary Australians” wins the coveted Dumbest Person In The Country award for today. (And on a day when conservative cheerleaders are covering up for their PM candidate’s self-immolation with “so what if he admits he lies, they all lie!”, that’s some achievement.)

UPDATE: Ah, you’ve got to be careful when believing anything News Ltd tells you. The story was clearly portrayed as being about asylum seekers costing more than $12.5 million in the last year:

However, I shouldn’t have believed it. The notes at the very end contradict the opening and reveal that only 13 of the 2433 deportees were failed asylum seekers – so the asylum seeker part of that total was only $67k. Further evidence that the “boat people” numbers are an infinitessimal fraction of the unauthorised immigrant problem, completely belying the scare campaigns run against them by the Liberal Party and its cheerleaders in the commercial media.

Nonetheless (and assuming The Australian isn’t wrong about this, too), the deliberate choice to use a remote site has cost taxpayers between $2,675,560 and $4,514,994 in flights to and from Christmas Island.

As News Ltd admits, it’s the refugee advocates who’ve fought against this expensive remote site:

That remoteness has long been a source of criticism from refugee groups, who say it is expensive to send legal and support workers there.

And yet it’s their biggest opponents, the anti-refugee smearers and demonisers, who’ll be trying to capitalise on precisely what the advocates warned about.

PS I’d like to thank my anonymous critic for his helpful review.

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