Doing deals on refugees

Both Nielsen and Essential have polled on the governments recent plans for dealing with boat arrival refugees. The results seem quite sensitive to whether or not Australia is perceived as getting a good deal.

In one Essential question worded in a way that implied a straight swap of refugees between Australia and Malaysia the public was evenly divided, 40-40. But if told that that sending refugees offshore would cost more, the numbers change to 60-23 against.

Nielsen told respondents about the 1 for 5 deal, and came up with 58-35 against. (And at last a Fairfax paper is putting the full poll details online.)

The 1 for 5 deal does seem very favourable for Malaysia. If the government hasn’t guessed right about the changed incentives, they will look ridiculous.

7 Responses to “Doing deals on refugees

  • 1
    conrad
    May 17th, 2011 05:54

    Is it true that it will cost more? I would have thought that the opposite was true.

  • 2
    Andrew Norton
    May 17th, 2011 08:12

    Flying refugees to Malaysia would be cheaper than detaining them, but I expect the PNG option is as or more expensive. The real cost of the Malaysia option is the extra 1,000 refugees we will take overall. If the report on refugee outcomes a couple of weeks ago is right, much of the cost of the refugee program is buried in the Centrelink bill.

  • 3
    Baz
    May 17th, 2011 09:39

    ‘1 for 5 does seem favourable’??? Seems favourable? When does seems’ becomes ‘is’?
    Anyway, Howard had this issue solved. The left and their silly ideology over practicalities have made an absolute mess. An absolute mess that can only be fixed by an election.
    There are no free lunches in life. You give the dole – guess what – you now get bludgers. You give a disability pension – guess what – 1 in 5 males over 40 is apparently in a wheel chair. You try to be generous to refuges – guess what – all these economic migrants jump on a boat, demand to be let in and burn down their temporary place of residence and we are the ones to be made to be felt guilty for our apparent lack of humanity. You give extra assistance to aboriginal Australians – guess what – they still in the camps and people that are 63 / 64 Caucasian still call themselves natives. Ridiculous!

    The sooner we get rid of this nonsense the better !

  • 4
    conrad
    May 17th, 2011 12:14

    “The real cost of the Malaysia option is the extra 1,000 refugees we will take overall.”
    .
    I really don’t see why they don’t just cut the refugee intake by 1000, in which case we end up with the same amount.

  • 5
    Andrew Elder
    May 17th, 2011 19:12

    I think this deal is part of a much overlooked relationship that has been mutually beneficial in all sorts of ways.

  • 6
    Andrew Norton
    May 17th, 2011 19:58

    Interesting post Andrew E.

  • 7
    caf
    May 18th, 2011 10:54

    The great Andrew Mafia of Australian political blogging strikes again (by my count: Carr, Elder, Norton, Leigh and Bartlett).