Billions for US and UK nuclear submarines, budget cuts for people seeking asylum


The Albanese Labor Government is determined to ensure there is no daylight between them and the Coalition, handing billions to the US and UK for nuclear submarines and denying people seeking asylum their basic rights in the process.

Hidden at the back of the budget is $12 billion over the next four years for nuclear submarines, the bulk of this spending will likely go offshore to the US and UK military industrial base.

This spending is part of the Albanese Government’s rapid militarisation of the country and the region. Defence spending is now double what it was ten years ago ($24.20 billion in 2014-15 and now $47.99 billion) and now accounts for 6.52% of all Government expenditure.

While spending on weapons has skyrocketed there has been no increase in the humanitarian intake, which is stagnant at 20,000, despite the ALP promising in the election to raise it to 27,000 a year.

The Albanese Government has also slashed asylum seeker support, more than halving it from $37 million to $17.3 million this budget, with this budget item down from $300 million a decade ago.

While support for people seeking asylum is cut, spending on offshore detention is rising. Spending for Nauru alone has jumped by $120m to over $600m with the Albanese Government keeping the toxic offshore detention regime open indefinitely in the forward estimates.

David Shoebridge, Greens Spokesperson for Justice, Defence and Immigration: “Only in Defence could $12 billion be snuck into the budget with no details and no explanation, just that it’s being put in the AUKUS submarine bucket.

“With this budget, the Albanese government is spending more on a dystopian nuclear-fueled future made in Barrow-in-Furness, UK, than any decent future made in Australia.

“We know the bulk of the $12 billion on AUKUS submarines will be sent offshore to build infrastructure and create jobs in the UK and the US.

“The Minister of Defence is trumpeting three-quarters of a trillion on defence in the next decade, but does anyone seriously think we are any safer?”

“Any honest observer of Defence knows it is a black hole that chews up hundreds of billions of public funds and delivers very little. The funding announcements aren’t a celebration, they are an admission of failure.

“While the Government is more than happy militarising Australia and destabilising the region, they are denying basic rights and dignity to those fleeing the consequences of this aggression.

“Albanese came to power saying in Government he would raise the refugee intake to 27,000. Nearly at the end of the term, and there is nothing.

“Instead, the Albanese Government slashed critical support for people seeking asylum by $20 million to a shocking $17 million, down from $300 million under the Coalition a decade ago,” said Senator Shoebridge.