Will the newly-elected Australian Prime Minister live up to his party’s election promises to cut foreign aid and immigration?
This is the question on all observers’ minds as Tony Abbot celebrates his runaway election victory this weekend and prepares for his first major policy speech over the next few days.
Abbott’s Liberal Party (which in Australian political parlance, is actually the home of “conservatives”) said in their election manifesto that they would “deliver stronger borders” and take “immediate action to protect both the integrity of our borders and Australia’s immigration programme.”
They also expressed a firm opposition to Third World “boat people” invaders landing in Australia.
“We will not allow illegal boat arrivals and people smugglers to either determine Australia’s immigration programme, or undermine the Australian people’s confidence in the programme,” the Liberal Party’s manifesto continued.
“We will deliver stronger borders—where the boats are stopped—with tough and proven measures.”
These are strong words, but, as observers point out, there is yet to be a “conservative party” anywhere in the West which has actually lived up to any of its public utterances on the issue of actually stopping the Third World invasion of the West.
The manifesto continued: “If elected Prime Minister, the first overseas trip that Tony Abbott makes as Prime Minister will be to Indonesia to renew cooperation against people smugglers.
“We will re-introduce the use of Temporary Protection Visas (TPVs) to deny the people smugglers a product to sell.”
The TPV was a visa scheme first introduced by a previous Australian government in 1999, issued to persons who had been recognised as “refugees fleeing persecution.” This was given to people who applied for refugee status after illegally entering Australia, and was the main type of visa issued to “refugees” when released from Australian immigration detention facilities.
After being granted a TPV, refugees were required to reapply three years later, in case conditions had changed in their homeland. TPV holders were eligible for Special Benefit, Rent Assistance, Family Tax Benefit, Child Care Benefit, Medicare, Early Health Assessment and Intervention Program, torture and trauma counselling, and English as a Second Language classes.
* One point in the Liberal manifesto which might be of consequence—if enforced—is the section which says that “We will establish presumption against refugee status for people who arrive on boats without identity papers. Where asylum seekers deliberately discard their identity documentation, we will deny them the benefit of doubt when determining their refugee status.”
* This means that, if implemented, it will no longer be good enough just to set foot in Australia and cry “asylum” without papers, as a large number of the Third World invaders have done to date.
In addition, the Liberal Party manifesto said that it would “ensure future [foreign] aid funding increases are dependent on AusAid meeting strict performance benchmarks.”
The outgoing Labor party government was blamed for implementing a carbon tax based on the theory of “global warming”—for which many Australians blame for steep increases in their power bills.
Abbot said during the election campaign that if elected he would cut 4.5 billion Australian dollars (£2.63 billion) over the next four years by reducing increases in its aid spending to the Australian inflation rate, which is currently less than 3%.
They did not say they would end foreign aid—that would be too much to expect from any establishment party, who are all mysteriously obsessed with giving as much money as possible to the Third World—and have said they are still ultimately committed to reaching a foreign aid spend of 0.5% of gross national income.
Abbott told reporters last week: “I have to say, there are higher immediate priorities” than reaching the 0.5% target.
The money saved will be reallocated to road projects in the three biggest cities, Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane.