Cost of managing asylum seekers will grow to $7.5 billion

THE cost of managing the growing influx of asylum seekers will reach $2.867 billion this year, growing to nearly $7.5 billion over the next four years.

As the Federal Government aims to tackle the source and criminals associated with people smuggling, it has struggled to house those seeking asylum on or offshore.

More than 1000 asylum seekers were intercepted by authorities in the first week of May, after record irregular maritime arrivals in April and March this year.

In budget documents released on Tuesday, the cost of addressing IMA was estimated to be nearly $2.9 billion in 2013-14, up from $2.1 billion in 2012-13.

While the rising costs were attributed to growth in arrivals, estimates show the expense would fall slightly each year from $1.7 billion in 2014-15 to $1.4 billion 2016-17.