INDEPENDENT NEWS

Illegal Overstayers Cost Taxpayers Millions

Published: Mon 19 Nov 2001 12:22 AM
Illegal Overstayers Cost Taxpayers Millions
Monday 19 Nov 2001
Penny Webster
Press Releases -- Immigration
Labour's policy of allowing illegal overstayers to live permanently in New Zealand is costing the taxpayer a fortune in hospital and welfare bills, ACT Immigration spokesman MP Penny Webster revealed today.
"Work and Income alone expects to dish out $545,000 to the 6,000 illegal overstayers. That cost covers things like unemployment payments.
"Responses to my requests under the Official Information Act also expose a huge burden on our health system.
"Health spending is expected to increase by $3.8 million as a direct result of not sending these overstayers home. By 2003/04, this will reach $4.9 million.
"Overstayers are lawbreakers. Yet the Labour Government has rewarded them for breaking the law.
"Treasury documents explicitly state that directing funding to the immigrants means the Ministry of Health has to "delay other initiatives". An extra $3.8 million would be welcomed by any district health board or under-resourced hospital.
"Other countries have implemented policies that are tough but fair. Here, Labour has committed New Zealanders to doling out cash," Mrs Webster said.
For more information visit ACT online at http://www.act.org.nz or contact the ACT Parliamentary Office at act@parliament.govt.nz.

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