Oct. 7, 2013, 8:04 a.m.
Liberal Democrats senator-elect David Leyonhjelm has proposed an open door asylum-seeker policy that would charge people $ 50,000 for permanent residency in Australia.
Mr Leyonhjelm will be one of eight senators from minor parties who will hold the balance of power in the upper house come July 1.
The Australian Greens will hold the balance of power in the Senate until then.
Mr Leyonhjelm wants to keep access to welfare and other benefits exclusive to Australian citizens and then open up the nation’s front door to asylum-seekers – at a cost of $ 50,000.
‘‘People are coming to Australia, they don’t have work skills but they still find it attractive from a welfare point of view,’’ he said.
‘‘[Under the proposed policy] when you get here you’re allowed to work, you don’t get locked up, but you don’t have access to welfare.’’
It would then become an economic consideration for asylum-seekers, he said.
‘‘If you don’t think you can get a job and support yourself, you don’t come,’’ he said.
‘‘They would say to themselves: ‘Is it worth my while spending $ 50,000 to come here, knowing that if I can’t get a job it’s money down the drain?’.’’
Mr Leyonhjelm said Australia was currently spending a fortune to send the navy out to intercept boats.
‘‘The tariff would be a little bit more expensive than what it costs to pay for a trip to Malaysia to bribe everybody to get in,’’ he said.
‘‘My prediction is that Tony Abbott’s policy won’t work. He might reduce the number of boats for a little while but I don’t think it’s a permanent solution.’’
Mr Leyonhjelm has also flagged he would oppose the Coalition’s direct action plan to reduce climate change and the paid parental leave scheme.
‘‘Paid parental leave is bad in principle,’’ Mr Leyonhjelm said.
‘‘It’s taking money from people who don’t have children and giving it to people who do have children.’’
But he says he could be persuaded to support the $ 5.5billion-a-year plan if it came with the trade-off of dropping the company tax rate to 20per cent.
‘‘We’re a small government party so any of those big spending grand ideas that involve spending other people’s money, we’ll oppose those,’’ Mr Leyonhjelm said on Sunday.
‘‘A net reduction in the tax burden would be what I’m looking for.’’
The coalition’s six-month wage-replacement leave scheme will be partly funded by a 1.5per cent levy on about 3000 large businesses.
To compensate, the Coalition plans to drop the tax rate for all companies by 1.5 points to 28.5per cent.