Reducing foreign aid to pay for asylum seeker expenses makes good sense

The Australian Protectionist Party applauds the recent decision by the federal Labor government to divert money from the foreign aid budget to pay for the expenses of asylum seekers on the Australian mainland. The decision sends an important message to our Asian neighbours as to who are the beneficiaries of Australian aid money, that they may have their aid reduced if Australia continues to have a problem with unwanted asylum boats. It therefore creates a badly-needed incentive to those Asian countries to help us to stop the boats.

Australia is sending the message that we will not give foreign aid to Asia unconditionally; that we instead expect the cooperation of our beneficiaries on issues that are important to us. If Australia is to grant foreign aid at all, then this should of course be the approach. We should not give aid unconditionally; we should do it in ways that benefit Australia, or help to reflect Australian values on issues like human rights.

Of course, ideally, we would not accept Third World asylum seekers at all, but given that we’ve had 30,000 of them arrive by boat since the Labor government took office, looking after them has considerable expenses, and it makes sense to divert some of the substantial money from our foreign aid budget.

In response to a rare good policy from the Labor government on the issue of asylum seekers, the federal Coalition has been most disappointing. They have been complaining about Labor’s “hypocrisy” and attacked their ability to balance a federal budget. Just when the Coalition should be applauding a good government policy and promising to continue it when in government themselves, they have instead resorted to cheap political point-scoring.

Australia has recently managed to secure substantial help from the nation of Sri Lanka to help stop their asylum seekers leaving for Australia. It is hoped that we will gain further cooperation from other Asian countries in the future. And even though the ALP motives may well be because of a perceived need to balance the budget, the federal government has at least taken a step on the right track.

Australia to cut aid to fund asylum seeker costs”, ABC News, 17 December 2012
Aid groups slam govt plan to divert funds”, Sydney Morning Herald, 17 December 2012
Govt’s aid decision hypocritical: oppn”, Sydney Morning Herald, 18 December 2012
Carr announces Sri Lanka asylum plan”, Sky News, 17 December 2012
Asylum seekers on boats reach 30,000”, Sydney Morning Herald, 21 November 2012


  1. The total cost for all “refugee claimaints” both up to now & in future, even if they are settled here should be sent directly to the politicians who changed the law to allow this to happen. Politicians & activists are all too good at abrogating responsibilities, consequences & costs to others for the sake of their own clean conscience. All such “claimaints” should be sent to live in the home of such politicians.
    There should be a constitutional ammendment to prevent politicians/activists from receiving a get-out-of-jail-free card when the unintended consequences of their policies get out of hand. They waste billions & cause the deaths of 1000s of Australians each year with their incompetence negligence & discriminatory policies. Moreover, they get away scott free!
    Foreign aid is a codly calculated act of discrimination against the many Australians who are in need of such assistance.

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