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Labor's $1.1 billion 2012-13 asylum budget blown in first month

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Shadow Minister for Immigration and Citizenship Scott Morrison

Labor's $1.1 billion 2012/13 asylum budget blown in first month


Labor’s $1.1 billion asylum budget for this year is already falling apart with more than 1,240 people turning up on illegal boats so far this month, compared to their budget estimate of just 450 arrivals, Shadow Minister for Immigration and Citizenship, Scott Morrison and Shadow Minister for Justice, Customs and Border Protection, Michael Keenan said today.

“The latest illegal boat to arrive, carrying 123 passengers, means we have had more than 450 people turn up in the past seven days and 1,242 since the beginning of July,” Mr Morrison said.

“Under Labor’s weak and failed border policies, more people are arriving in a week than they have budgeted to arrive in a month. This will have an inevitable impact on blowing out Labor’s asylum budget, as has occurred with every budget revision during the past three years. The total cost of these blowouts so far is $4.7 billion.

“This year’s budget was already increased by more than one million dollars a day when announced back in May, based on assumptions that included just 450 arrivals per month.

“The bill for taxpayers is clearly going to keep rising as long as the boats keep on coming under Labor. While there is speculation about the mining boom, it’s clear the people smuggling boom will continue as long as Labor remains in government,” Mr Morrison said.

Mr Keenan said: “The latest boat arrival, carrying 123 people, is the 90th illegal vessel to be intercepted this year.

“Twenty illegal boats carrying well over 1,000 people have been intercepted this month alone - Border Protection Command cannot continue to cope with this relentless influx of arrivals.

“If the Government doesn’t act to fix this crisis at our borders then they will not only be risking the lives of those making this dangerous journey but also the health and safety of our border protection personnel.

“Labor must swallow their pride and reinstate the Coalition’s proven policies and put an end to this evil people smuggling trade,” Mr Keenan said.