A former Australian Prime Minister has called on the country’s current leader to reduce immigration rates significantly.
Tony Abbott has suggested that immigrant intake should be scaled back to 110,000 a year in order to address low wage growth, spiralling housing prices and social integration problems.
He claims that all these have become critical issues due to historically high immigration levels.
“It’s a basic law of economics that increasing the supply of labour depresses wages; and that increasing demand for housing boosts price,” Mr Abbott said.
Australia’s present Immigration Minister, Peter Dutton, stated last week that immigration levels could be cut in the future if it is deemed in the nation’s interests to do so. And Abbott has seized on these words to encourage PM Malcolm Turnbull to make the cuts sooner rather than later.
While Abbott acknowledges that some businesses may not be happy with a cut to the immigration programme, he believes the long-term impact will be beneficial if it leads to higher wages and lower house prices.
“A strong migration program in the long term doesn’t preclude a smaller one in the short term especially when there’s acute pressure on living standards and quality of life,” he said.
The latest Department of Home Affairs statistics reveal a net migration intake of 183,608, which was slightly below the government’s “planning level” of 190,000. More than two-thirds of migrants arrived as skilled migrants.
The major source countries include India, China and Britain. More than a third of all new migrants settle in New South Wales.
Article published 20th February 2018