Liar Morrison: Immigration cut will smash Budget

Tony Abbott has stirred a response from the Real Estate Treasurer:

“I can understand why people would be superficially attracted to this idea that if you lower the level of permanent immigration that that will have that impact, but let’s just think it through,” Mr Morrison told 3AW.

“If you take this proposal, this is what it means. You’d have to drop [the intake] by 80,000. The hit to the budget of that would be about $4 billion to $5 billion over the next four years.”

Mr Morrison said the reason for population growth was temporary migrants and the government had taken steps to address that, including a clampdown on foreign worker visas.

“But a permanent cut to the permanent intake, it’s very hard to look at the data and see that that’s actually the problem,” he said.

Liar Morrison again. Temporary migrants leave. How can they boost population growth? It’s the permanent migrant intake that determines the level of net overseas migration and population growth:

On the Budget, the Federal Government collects most of the tax revenue derived from a larger population while the states bear the costs of delivering services and infrastructure to same. More roads, trains, buses, schools, police, hospitals, government services etc. Morrison is only discussing the benefits to his Budget without reference to the state costs. A holistic view sees little or no gain to the national public balance sheet.

On top of that, where’s the modeling? Is this another of Scott’s ‘from [his] experience’ policy arguments? Halving the migrant intake would lower house prices and residential construction versus the counter-factual but it would also boost wages mitigating consumption fallout. Not to mention give the Budget an outside chance of meeting its absurdly high income growth outlook. Moreover, a lower intake would materially drop interest rates and the currency, providing an offsetting strong tailwind to nominal growth and Budget revenues in tradable sectors.

Like most sectional analysis, Morrison is picking and choosing impacts not giving us the national view.

He ain’t the Real Estate Treasurer for nuthin!

David Llewellyn-Smith
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  1. Is the “$4b-5b hit to the budget” advice from the Treasury, or his own thoughts based on his economic experience? (this line of questioning should be standard from every interviewer from now on…)

    • Modelling? Evidence? Science? That’s so old fashioned. Evidence based policies are obsolete. You need to model in your mind creatively to maximise the benefit to the important people, maximise the count among your base and the major donors, and the banks and real estate industry (where the ex PCA treasurer will look for his next job)

      • It’s called ‘Garbage Can Policy Making’ where policymaker aims are ambiguous. This contrasts with ‘rational’ policymaking that flows from problems (or their aims) analysis to solution(s). The garbage can is where a mix of problems, solutions and choices are dumped. Typical of policy making in Australia or what passes for policy making.

    • Either way its a pretty trivial sum – $1b per year. Cut negative gearing and you’ll rake in 6 times as much. Or allow wages to grow and bracket creep will cover it in no time.

  2. ScoMo is talking BS as usual.
    Why are so many taxi/Uber drivers “skilled professionals” from 3rd world countries, scraping to make ends meet? Their big families and grandparents are here too, all leeching off existing infrastructure. Overall they take more from government than will ever be paid in taxes.

    They depress wages, too. For every IT/Engineering position in Australia, there are currently 31 applicants. The numbers are similar for accountants. There is no skilled labour shortage, there is a shortage of cheap workers.

      • Happening right under out noses, yet some here say it wont happen
        how about the quote about retraining 55 year olds.
        Some time ago it was reported that the udeful life of a worker was now at 35 yoa, and some say even less.25.
        Seems older punters dont have the necessary vibrancy?? Reusa.
        this is gunna be huge

      • No one at decision making levels is making the connection or appreciating the seriousness of the fact that apart from record prices, millenials aren’t buying homes because they are the living precariat. No sense of job security at all is a total mismatch for a huge 30 year financial contract where they are going to need to pay EVERY week! Once this creeps up the demographic pyramid the lack of confidence and sense of financial security will spread like an economic cancer. Amplified by existing high levels of debt. The fact that banks are leading the charge taking the axe to their dwindling debt slaves shows the true destructive force, of the corporate tax cut, profits for us and overseas shareholders and screw the host mentality. Crazy stuff.

      • All the banks are doing the same. Sometimes the news goes public and sometimes it doesn’t.

        Lawyers and accountants too ..

        But this won’t dent the property market. Honest! :/

      • Robots are just the cover story for inevitable cost cutting due to lower revenues as the boom unwinds.

    • Never has there been a more exciting time to be alive.

      Just squeeze in a couple thousand Deliveroo shifts in between studying at Royal Gurkhas Institute of Technology to get that coveted IT Infrastructure Engineer role. Only then in about be able 8 years will you able to afford a dog box of your own.

    • Exactly, my wife graduated with honours in engineering and then did postgrad where she didn’t get below a high distinction for anything and she has been looking for over a year for work. I wonder why.

    • The problem with MSM being owned by a couple of rich fat cats, with a heavy bent for personal bias, is they effectively choose who gets coverage and what tiny sound bites are selected for that coverage. I doubt Shorten is sitting at home tugging on his old fella to fill the hours of the day. He probably has an opinion on the matter, albeit, it may not be against a Big Australia policy in this instance…but then, who knows?

    • Shorten is silent because he doesnt wsnt to distract us from the never ending csge match between Turnbull Abbott et al. Which will gift him the Lodge. I dont view him any better than Turnbull but he would have to be luckier.

  3. We the people want a plebiscite / referendum on immigration including the overall target level of 70,000 people per annum

  4. Morrison has learnt that deception is a far better tool than data analysis. It’s all politics, no management, and certainly nothing close to competence. Morrison’s problem is that the media which backs him also supports Leith’s deep analysis on the issue. Morrison will find it harder to convince his natural allies.

    • Taken a lead from Trump; if you don’t agree with it or it doesn’t fit your narrative then it’s fake news, dismissed and carry on peddling lies.

  5. Order these “skilled” foreign workers to pay $25k/year income tax upon landing at an Aussie airport.

    Allowing them to violate the wage, visa, and superannuation laws is ridiculous.

  6. Loved how the smh called it “Morrison’s takedown of Abbott”, but when you look at what Morrison said there is actually no coherent argument at all, just that if you look at the figures…but doesn’t give any. Also, why is it bad to lose $4 billion to the budget here but it is ok to lose it to lowering the corporate tax, which has been shown to not help out Australians all that much?

  7. Blatant nonsense. If anyone is wondering why someone would spout such self-evident bullshit, Theodore Dalrymple provides the answer…

    “In my study of communist societies, I came to the conclusion that the purpose of communist propaganda was not to persuade or convince, not to inform, but to humiliate; and therefore, the less it corresponded to reality the better. When people are forced to remain silent when they are being told the most obvious lies, or even worse when they are forced to repeat the lies themselves, they lose once and for all their sense of probity. To assent to obvious lies is…in some small way to become evil oneself. One’s standing to resist anything is thus eroded, and even destroyed. A society of emasculated liars is easy to control. I think if you examine political correctness, it has the same effect and is intended to.”

    So as with the communists, if we accepts Morrison’s Big Lies, we are complicit in furthering his appalling agenda.

    One of the reasons I am happy to pay my MB subs is to support the resistance to this perversion and corruption of our society by toxic fools like Scot Morrison.

    • FiftiesFibroShack

      That Dalrymple quote applies perfectly to Trumpism too. Authoritarians of all stripes use similar tools.

  8. Morrison is either a moron or despicable lying scum, either way it show he’s not fit for (any?) office.


    “In fact, last year, it actually didn’t meet the cap. It was about 7000 or 8000 less than what the planned level was.””

    I wonder if that means we’ve reached the point immigrants from certain countries are no longer so interested in coming here. It wouldn’t surprise me with quality of life on the way down, while in China it is rising with 10% p.a. wage rises, first class business and job opportunities, and plenty of shiny new infrastructure. From here I suspect we need to import more people from less developed countries with which we still compare well. Race to the bottom.

    • If not already, very soon. 10% wage rises for IT workers in India also. If nothing else the gap has been closing for years now.

    • Jumping jack flash


      Unless you already had a mountain load of cash from the Chinese mafia to make all nice and clean using Australian houses, it’d be madness to come to Australia to take on a mountain load of debt to buy a property here.

      But, there’s no shortage of fools I suppose.

      While our wages go nowhere due to the fact that everyone’s grabbing at any spare cash to pay off their gargantuan debts, the rest of the developing world catches up.

      Which is not a bad thing really, but it will just mean things will get comparatively worse here

  10. Still, ScoMo is calling Abbott’s wedge bluff with this:

    “I was the immigration minister for Tony Abbott and the permanent immigration intake we have today is exactly the same as it was when he was prime minister,” Mr Morrison said.

    “I don’t recall at any time there was any discussion that that should be lowered at that time and I do recall housing affordability being a significant issue at that time.

  11. We’re doing this for a billion bucks a year?

    $1b per 80k people. $12500 per person.

    Medicare, trains, roads, airports, pensions are multiples of that per person.

    We’re going backwards even if they were spending the revenue on infrastructure which they clearly aren’t.

    As an aside, we of the anti population growth type, need to be cautious an 80k reduction does not become the narrative as it has already. Vote Hanson for zero.

  12. And this idiot is running the economy! If your mother told you that we have to keep eating $1 McD cheeseburgers for the rest of your life because she can’t afford to buy at a restaurant but is too lazy to cook a healthy meal, would you say she was a good mother?

    Hey Morrison, aren’t we paying you half a million a year to actually come up with a strategy for the country, not keep stuffing us full of cheeseburgers!

    • Jumping jack flash

      1/2 a mil for quaffing red and sleeping with staffers, but, you know, those pollies just have so much to do after they privatised almost everything, so they deserve it.

  13. What ScoMo may be referring to is the governments skim from the private bank credit creation ponzi.

    Take 80,000 potential debt serfs and users of residential housing out of the calculations and demand for existing and new housing will sag.

    That is a lot of demand for private bank credit creation vaporising.

    When you are collecting a slice of that credit creation as money action via a wide range of taxes cutting immigration will hurt.

    This immigration ponzi has been baked into the very core of our private banker dominated monetary model. Cutting immigration will require a fundamental reassessment of the model introduced over the last 30 years.

    We wil not be getting any apologies from ScoMo for that.

    • Jumping jack flash

      For sure

      That’s providing that they pay the imports enough so they can take on the enormous mountains of debt that are required to keep the credit creation ponzi working.

      That first rung onto the ladder just keeps getting higher and higher.
      But after that, its an easy road to limitless debt.

      • Yes – though keep in mind that our major trade rivals are taking the view that pumping capital outwards to keep their currencies low and push ours up – is worth it.

        So the AUD is holding up much better than it should for a debt addled future eating quarry like Australia.

        That might come to a sudden end if the US really is going to do what it takes to keep ahead of China.

        Asset price bubbles are an indulgence that the USA seems to be starting to realise it cannot afford.

        We certainly cannot but doing something about it sounds like hard work.

    • Agreeing with Abbott makes you an easy target, almost as bad as agreeing with Pauline Hanson. Because while most of the arguments they use sound rational and sensible, they can’t help chucking in a little something about “ethnic gangs”, them not speaking proper English, not assimilating etc.

  14. Do you ever get the impression that abbot can only ever have a right policy for the wrong reason. I’m sure Abbott is pushing this line as an attack against the current leadership. Not because he cares. If he was leader now he would still keep immigration at its current level.

  15. Leith you need to do an editorial titled “Why Big Business loves a Big Australia (and why you don’t)”

  16. Let’s get behind a #bigaustralia hashtag with photos on social media from everyday Australian’s experience of a Big Australia: standing room only crush loaded public transport, crawling traffic (during the week and on weekends), long waiting times in emergency rooms, overloaded schools. Also tag #bigaustralia with #notmychoice #bigcrush etc.

  17. Neo (from the matrix)

    I’m worried Scomo came across more as an Establishment/Globalist sock-puppet than a genuine economic custodian of this country and its children. Scary times 🙁

  18. Interesting story on increased demand on Victorian CFA in ‘growth corridors’. Smart, dedicated people to be sure but they seem surprised that the number of calls each year is increasing and their workload is getting out of hand. If they just worked out (or were allowed by the ABC to state) the plummeting ratio of firefighters per 1000 population, all would be clear.

    • Immigration was the second story on Melbourne’s ABC news, but 7.30 focuses on Cape Town’s water woes and the US never-changing gun laws.