By the numbers
Forget for a moment that asylum seekers are actually people with hopes and dreams just like us. Let’s focus purely on the numbers. Take your humanity out of the equation and let’s see if we can find a more cost effective way of dealing with asylum seekers.
The cost of detention
According to the Sydney Morning Herald the cost of keeping asylum seekers in detention has hit 1 billion dollars. The past financial year, Manus Island has cost taxpayers $632.3 million to “accomodate” 1060 asylum seekers ($596,500 per person). Nauru comes in slightly cheaper at $582.4 million for the 1167 asylum seekers ($499,000 per person). An average of $545,442 spent on each asylum seeker per year.
Let’s consider a best case scenario where the average cost of detention is lowered to $400,000 per person. Here’s what we could do with that money instead.
1) Buy asylum seekers a first class ticket to Melbourne ($5,000)
2) Provide a chauffer driven stretch Limousine from the Airport to the CBD @$230 per hour ($700)
3) A bottle of Penfolds, 1959 Grange as a welcome gift ($4,850)
4) A new Commodore SV6 Storm on arrival ($40,839)
5) A year long stay at the Langham Hotel in the Grand Classic Room for $280 per night ($102,200)
6) Including daily buffet breakfast, $30 per day ($10,950)
7) Fuel to cover a years driving, $1.40 per litre. 15,530km @ 10L/100km ($2,174)
8) A sample of 365 different lunch venues across Melbourne @ $20 per day ($7,300)
9) A four course dinner each night ($120) at Melbourne’s newest 3 Hat restaurant, the ‘Flower Drum’ ($43,800)
10) Front row seats to a weekly broadway show $200 ($10,400)
11) No dirty laundry with fresh underwear daily ($4000)
12) A years supply of bamboo socks ($2855)
13) A Mirrogram tee for every day of the year ($12,775)
14) And a new pair of designer jeans each week ($285 x 52 = $14,820)
15) Footwear package from Armani. Includes; high tops, driving shoes, sneakers, heels, boots, business and casual shoes. ($3,710)
16) Daily Vinyasa Yoga classes at Loving all of you holistic health ($16 x 365 = $5,840)
17) Weekly therapy sessions with private Psychologist ($150 x 52 = $7800)
18) Weekly, private hour long golf lessons at the state of the art Golf Science Centre ($120 x 52 = $6,240)
19) Scholarship for full time study at the University of Melbourne ($35,912)
20) Why use a tap like a nobody when you can brush your teeth with bottled water? ($730)
21) And buy an iPhone to fit in skinny jeans right up to trackies ($4,000)
22) A Teacup Chihuahua ($4,000)
23) And designer handbag for said Chihuahua ($6,440)…
Okay, we’ll stop short of buying a pet Chimpanzee and add up what we’ve spent so far (see table below).
With $62,655 left to spend it turns out we can afford that pet Chimpanzee after all!
Do what’s best for Australia (and you)
What’s more ridiculous than the above list is that we would actually SAVE money by welcoming asylum seekers to Australia in this way. Yes, SAVE money. The savings exceed $200,000 per person when you consider families of asylum seekers would share a hotel room (saving $102,200 per person) and a car (saving another $40,839 per person).
Replacing the current detention centres with these harsh measures provides an estimated tax saving of $445 million dollars. Roughly $25 for every tax payer in Australia.
One more tiny thing to consider
Asylum seekers are not just numbers, they’re people.
-Stop and Reflect-