1 May 2018

3 reasons why think tanks, economists and infrastructure groups say cutting migration isn’t the answer

Cutting Australia’s migration intake has been frequently discussed in the media lately, however infrastructure groups, think tanks and economists are strongly opposing migration intake reductions, saying it isn’t the solution to congestion, housing affordability and stagnant wages. Here’s three reasons why.

1. It’s not all about demand – we need to manage supply

Professor of Economics at the Australian National University, Robert Breunig believes Governments have an important role to play in ensuring housing supply is adequately maintained by upgrading and expanding city infrastructure and incentivising housing developments to allow for the growth attributed by migrants.

According to Infrastructure Australia, the key is to plan early for infrastructure development, including public transport and improved access to jobs, health services, schools and green spaces in outer areas of Australia’s cities. Participants in Australia’s Public Policy Think Tank, The Grattan Institute also agreed, saying cutting immigration should be a last resort.

2. The migration program is designed to manage skill shortages

Mr Breunig also emphasised the important economic role skilled migrants play in helping Australian businesses manage labour demands that cannot be met locally, given that Australia’s skilled migration program is designed to target industries facing skill shortages.

Migration agent, Sheila Woods from Immigracious says, “We’re seeing a number of changes being made to Australia’s migration program to ensure it more accurately reflects Australian skill shortages – one of the major changes has been the replacement of the 457 Visa with the Temporary Skills Shortage 482 Visa. Under the new visa, employers need to undertake a number of labour market testing requirements to show their difficulties in sourcing people locally before proceeding to sponsor a visa holder.”

3. Skilled migrants help fund Australia’s economic growth

Scott Morrison, Treasurer and Former Immigration Minister also defended the economic contribution of skilled permanent migrants, saying “People who come as skilled migrants pay taxes. They actually make a net contribution to the economy,” Mr Morrison said. According to Mr Morrison, cutting immigration by 80,000, as suggested by Mr Abbott, would reduce the tax intake to the federal budget by $4 or $5 billion.

Immigracious can help you to understand if you are eligible for a skilled visa. We encourage you to contact our migration agents for a complimentary visa assessment on 08 6263 4406 or email

Source: The ConversationSBS and Perth Now

Sheila Woods

Posted by: Sheila Woods

A very experienced migration agent, Sheila has always been fascinated by this field. Her university degree thesis was on Australia’s post-war immigration history (and it earned her first-class honours).

Filed in: Visas


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