How ridiculous. The tax payer is funding it because the government changed the rules of coming back home. Its not opt-in, and no rational government could one day increase the cost of returning to your home country by thousands of dollars. What do you suggest people do? Overstay their visas and start stealing food and living on the streets of foreign countries?
I am surprised that we dont have rules around leaving the country and costs associated with returning shortly thereafter. In other words we should be stamping out the revolving door loophole, although I am not sure there are many people actually doing this.
Australia is considering doing just that, right now. The argument is that expats have had ample opportunity to return home "for free" (even though that's a bald faced lie, as in some cases the expats are stuck in countries where it was and still is near impossible to leave, or where the only repatriation flights are prohibitively expensive).