Media release

Australia’s major political parties were demonstrating a complete lack of compassion and common sense in wasting billions of tax payers’ dollars on ineffective asylum seeker policies which only increased human misery.

That is the view of Palmer United Party federal leader, Clive Palmer, who said today that both Labor and the Coalition were pedalling “disgraceful” asylum seeker policies that would cost tax payers upwards of $5 billion a year.

“That is a shocking waste of money which will do little to fix a very serious issue when the dollars could be much better spent on things such as health and education,’’ Mr Palmer said.

“It is a national disgrace. The major parties’ bungled responses to the asylum seeker issue have made us the laughing stock of the world.

“Now Labor is foreshadowing increased taxes on top of its disastrous changes to Fringe Benefits Tax on motor vehicles which will only reduce productivity and jobs, shrink our economy and result in less taxable revenue being collected.

“Australia needs a real change in government to stop this downward spiral and to inject some empathy and common sense into the asylum seeker issue,’’ Mr Palmer said.

The Palmer United Party believes offshore processing as favoured by both major parties increased the pain and suffering of genuine asylum seekers.

“In recent years we have seen hundreds of people perish at sea as a result of this insidious industry and the policies which perpetuate it… we have seen families separated and children locked up,” Mr Palmer said.

“If we really want to smash the people smugglers business model we need to take away their customers.

“We say you can buy a plane ticket if you believe you’re a legitimate refugee and you can come to Australia in normal transport at one tenth the cost,’’ he said.

Mr Palmer said all asylum-seekers should be processed at the country’s borders in a timely, compassionate and fair way.

ENDS