Prime Minister Scott Morrison has apparently ruled out reducing Australia’s migrant intake when the Covid-19 crisis subsides.
Although the Government expects an 85 per cent fall in overseas migration this year, it looks as though there are no plans to permanently reduce migration once borders open again.
The dramatic fall in numbers will mostly be down to Australia’s border closures, not because of program cuts.
“If you’re wanting to hack into the temporary skilled migration program, you’re basically saying you want to hack into the skilled permanent migration program and those communities all around the country,” the Prime Minister said.
“I think that’s an insensitive way of dealing with that and an unbalanced way that’s not only not good for the economy, but equally, I think it puts unnecessary pressures on particular communities around Australia.”
The Prime Minister’s comments come after Labor frontbencher Kristina Keneally called for an overhaul of the country’s migration program and suggested that in recent years, the number of workers on temporary visas has been too high.
Migrants bring economic benefits
Business experts appear to be backing Mr Morrison on this one.
Writing for the Guardian, Jock Collins, Professor of Social Economics at the UTS Business School, said migration creates jobs and warned that reducing numbers would “wreak havoc” on the economy. Clearly this is the last thing anyone needs right now.
International students inject cash into the economy at a level local students cannot match and agricultural employers rely on backpackers for seasonal work, the expert noted.
Why an 85 per cent drop?
The predicted 85 per cent drop in migration isn’t because of tweaks to the Government’s migration program, it’s because of border restrictions. Once things return to normal, we should see that number start to fall. There may be less demand for overseas workers as we emerge from the pandemic, but we certainly shouldn’t see anything like an 85 per cent fall.
Visa applications are still being accepted and processed. If you’re planning to lodge a partner visa, parent visa or employer-sponsored visa, there’s absolutely nothing to stop you from proceeding as normal.