CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — The opposition has pledged to slash the amount of money Australia spends on legal assistance for asylum seekers if it wins national elections next week.
The soaring costs for taxpayers of an increasing number of asylum seekers reaching Australian shores by boat is a hot-button issue ahead of the elections on Sept. 7.
Opposition immigration spokesman Scott Morrison announced Saturday that he expects savings of 100 million Australian dollars ($89 million) over four years by scrapping a government policy of providing free lawyers and migration agents to advise refugee seekers on lodging asylum claims and appealing rejections of the claims.
The conservative opposition, which is tipped to win the election, and the center-left Labor Party government are proposing different policies to stop the influx of boats carrying refugees.
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