Tuesday 13th October, 2015 Australia/Sydney

Australian Conservative

Keeping the refugee intake at 13,750 a year will save $1.3 billion, Abbott says

Opposition Leader Tony Abbott.
(Photo: Australian Conservative.)

Tony Abbott today announced further details of the Coalition’s “plan to build a stronger economy and a stronger Australia”.

In a Liberal newsletter, Tony Abbott said:

Under Labor, spending last financial year was almost $100 billion higher than in the last year of the Howard Government. The government’s net debt has also blown out to over $150 billion – the highest level in Australian history. Australians are now paying almost $20 million every day in interest to service that debt.

As part of our plan to address this mountain of Labor debt, today I announced that if elected to government, the Coalition will save around $1.3 billion by not proceeding with the Government’s plan to increase the level of Australia’s humanitarian intake from 13,750 a year to 20,000.

This announcement is part of our plan to ensure that, once again, the federal government lives within its means.

The Coalition will always support a generous humanitarian programme. However, it should not be expanded while the Government cannot afford to pay for it.

I also announced today that if elected, the Coalition will ensure that access to social security benefits for holders of bridging visas granted by the Gillard Government will be subject to individuals satisfying mandatory mutual obligation requirements.

Under the Gillard Government’s latest policy change, thousands of the people coming to Australia illegally by boat will be put on bridging visas with access to welfare and no obligation to do anything in return.

We believe that if illegal arrivals are to be released from detention into the community then they must help contribute back to the community that supports them.

Click here to read more details about today’s announcements.

Both of today’s announcements are part of the Coalition’s plans to deliver a strong and prosperous economy and a safe and secure Australia.

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