One of the ongoing problems related to refugee and immigration issues in Australia is the continuing misinformation that regularly circulates about government payments. It is not just word-of-mouth or the blogosphere, as the ABC's Media Watch has pointed out on numerous occasions:
A few weeks ago we highlighted a vicious little viral email that makes ludicrous claims about refugees' welfare entitlements. Versions of it keep appearing on letters pages around the country.A paper from the Parliament of Australia Library by Luke Buckmaster of the Social Policy Unit tries to put the record straight:
Does no-one listen to Media Watch? (14 April 2008)
... there is no truth to claims made in emails recently circulated throughout Australia that refugees are entitled to higher benefits than other social security recipients. Refugees have the same entitlements as all other permanent residents—they do not receive special refugee payments or special rates of payment.You can download the pdf here. Thanks to Australian Policy Online for the link.
Australian Government assistance to refugees: fact v fiction ( 1 Dec 2009)
Experience tells us that the struggle between facts and prejudice is a tortuous one.