By Andrew Bolt ~
It’s one of the sweet fibs of the Left – that refugees make us richer.
As the Government announces it will take 12,000 additional refugees, it’s worth nothing that the data shows a generous intake is likely to be the most economically sound immigration policy of all, writes Tim Dunlop.
It is the people with the greatest courage, endurance and human resources who make it. Australia could benefit from these qualities – as we have done in the past: refugees have made major contributions to our economy and society since 1945.
“We always talk about refugees as if they are a cost,” Senator Evans said at a fringe event to the ALP National Conference. “Refugees are generally young, we are an ageing population … we should see refugees for their capacity as well as their cost.
“They … have proved to be great contributors to Australian society.”
Really? If we were still bringing in, say, educated Jewish refugees from Europe those platitudes would be true.
But we aren’t and the platitudes are false, as I already noted six years ago:
NOW even the Gillard Government knows the truth about its bungled refugee program.
The people it’s bringing in are costing us billions, with 85 per cent of refugees on Centrelink benefits in their first five years here.
Worse, it’s the “refugees” who push in—the boat people we don’t pick, and who exploit the Government’s weak laws—who cost us most.
The vast majority of boat people say they are from Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran and Sri Lanka, and these are exactly the refugees most likely to be unemployed and living on welfare, even after five years.
Just 9 per cent of Afghan adults have a job and 94 per cent receive benefits, which means every boatload of Afghans landing here is a boatload almost entirely of people we’ll be paying handouts to for years…
It’s the same story among Iranian adults, just 12 per cent of whom work.
And now more confirmation that whatever the moral case for bringing in refugees, it is an expensive act of charity:
The Turnbull government is considering boosting English, education and employment services for refugees amid new research showing only 7 per cent of a group of 2013 arrivals have jobs and budget estimates that welfare payments for new arrivals will exceed $100 million a year…
The Australian Institute of Family Studies study of a group of 2400 arrivals granted visas between May and December 2013, released last week, found 7 per cent of migrants reported being employed and 70 per cent of new arrivals were either working or studying, mainly to gain English language skills.
About 40 per cent were having difficulty finding housing and 35 per cent of men and 45 per cent of women were at moderate or high risk of psychological distress, compared to 7 per cent of men and 11 per cent of women in the general population.
The report showed that humanitarian arrivals struggled with poor English ability and low skills.
It showed nearly three quarters of humanitarian arrivals had either no or a poor understanding of English, while 78 per cent could not speak English on arrival.
This counting of the costs does not include the cost of the cultural clashes we have imported, forcing us to take expensive anti-terrorism measures, for instance. Note that the last three terror attacks on our soil were all conducted by refugees. Three Australians are now dead, and also don’t figure in the costs in today’s report.
Now to the moral issue this raises.
How can we best spend that $100 million a year to give the most help to the most refugees? Is it by bringing in 14,000 refugees a year and spending it on welfare for the workless, or by spending $1000 a person on 100,000 people in refugee camps overseas while they wait to go back home?
And another question: are we creating a new underclass here that will nurse resentments about our “racism” in keeping them in “disadvantage”?
Andrew Bolt’s columns appear in Melbourne’s Herald Sun, Sydney’s Daily Telegraph and Adelaide’s Advertiser. He runs the most-read political blog in Australia and hosts Channel 10’s The Bolt Report each Sunday at 10am. He is also heard from Monday to Friday at 8am on the breakfast show of radio station MTR 1377, and his book Still Not Sorry remains very widely read.