Radio 2GB demolishes Labor’s unlimited elderly visas

Radio 2GB’s Michael Maclaren has done a good job demolishing Labor’s uncapped policy to allow migrant Australians to bring their parents to Australia, which Demographer Peter McDonald predicts could result in 2 million additional elderly residents inundating Australia.

Michael is joined by Dr Bob Birrell, demographer at the Australian Population Research Institute, who himself last week forecast 200,000-plus additional elderly parent visas in Labor’s first term.

Also discussed is Australia’s higher education system being undermined by a growing reliance on foreign fee-paying students.


  1. No elderly people should be migrating to Australia, under any circumstances.

    We already have plenty of new arrivals getting here at 50 (cut-off to apply is 45, and it can take 5 years to process application). We should be looking at reducing the maximum application age.

  2. TheRedEconomistMEMBER

    Devils advocate here…

    But would most parents of the elderly reduce some costs?

    – Reduce childcare costs
    – Pay GST
    – Pay for VIsa ($2,500?)

    Maybe they should be forced to take up private health insurance?

    • Private Health is astronomically expensive for the elderly as they are the extreme users of healthcare for an age bracket. If they were forced to take up Healthcare it would force premiums up for everyone else. not to mention that in alot of instances private patients are treated in public hospitals so would still clog up the system….I am also going out on a limb that many would rock up to public anyway and demand to be treated?

      • TighterandTighter

        You could make it a condition of the VISA and have the PHIs create a new insurance product just for this people that doesn’t pool costs/risks onto existing holders/residents, so as to exclusively contain risks to those new visas.
        Edit: what myne said
        Also, if it is policed properly and that is admittedly a big if, the PHs could use the extra income from PHIs for treating these pts.

      • Agreed on the separation, but I doubt the Insurance companies would care and would just lump it together.
        Also, you still need the extra Health infrastructure to deliver the service. This won’t happen as we are already overloaded in Health care.

    • Those ‘benefits’ are a pittance when compared against the extra investment in economic and social infrastructure required. See the Productivity Commission’s estimates of the net costs of permanent elderly visas, which are around $350k to $400k per adult in NPV terms. Even if these visas cost one quarter as much, that’s still a very hefty bill.

    • You would need to pay a lot of GST to cover the urgent heart valve replacements some of these arrivals are going to need.
      They will be uninsurable in large numbers by a private provider.

      • DominicMEMBER

        What insurer is going to take on this risk and if they do the premiums will be unaffordable to most.

        We’ll end with a crisis that will be solved by the taxpayer riding to the rescue as usual.

    • Why would any country want to import old sick third world people? Especially the kind this policy is designed for. How about a plebiscite first.

      • @jbae. Yeah. Gotta love that “big heart” platitude. Can’t be challenged because that would be churlish. Doesn’t have to address any practical realities or economic consequences.

        If it was policy sincerely borne of a big hearted attitude it might be slightly more palatable. But there’s no altruism here – just a cynical ploy to corral more votes at any price. The “big heart” bit is just like the cry of racism – a tool to stifle dissent and reasoned debate.

        Our so-called political ‘representatives’ long ago ceased to perform any such role, and will ensure they amass enough wealth to be well insulated from the social chaos that must ultimately ensue.

        To put it bluntly, as our much vaunted welfare system wilts and eventually dies, it will be their policies that result in substantial misery and death. As always, they will lie and obfuscate to avoid the uncomfortable truth that they hold ultimate responsibility for the outcomes.

        But that won’t change the fact that the fault lies squarely with our broken two-party political system and the miscreants that populate it.

    • Labor is proposing cost changes to the new 870 Visa, which as it stands already requires applicants to take up PHI. The profitability of PHI relies on young people buying into it and not making claims, so anything that increasing the premiums will cause more dropouts among younger demographics. Only the ones on decent wages will take it on to avoid the Medicare Levy Surcharge, and we all know how well wages are rising!

      Howard saved the PHI funds by introducing the MLS penalties and the 2% pa loading for taking it after age 30. With more and more people dropping out, the Coalition, which introduced the 870 visa in November 2018 is probably trying to do the same thing but probably hasn’t realised that older people on PHI are not the ideal customers for the industry.

      • DominicMEMBER

        This is the reason Obamacare is such a fvck up. He let the youngsters off the HI hook and they are the very ones that are meant to be subsidising the old folks’ healthcare. Many health insurers have pulled out of Obamacare and those that haven’t have jacked up premiums to insane levels for the rest.

    • They aren’t big consumers. Living under the one roof, reduces spend per household member. The bulk of the household has the white goods and furniture to go – so minimal spend on household items. If they are at home looking after the kids, then they aren’t socialising and spending up on hospitality and other entertainment services. The food they buy is cheap (and imported from their home countries). They aren’t buying cars.

      • proofreadersMEMBER

        Only oldies who arrive with a bag with $5m in cash in it should be let in?

    • This would work perfectly, as long as there was a requirement for all elderly migrant parents to buy a new Ferrari every 3 years. The LCT, GST and Duty would almost cover their health costs.

      • DominicMEMBER

        I’m a little ambivalent at the thought of a partially-sighted crusty with early onset dementia being in charge of a golf cart never mind a Ferrari. 😉

  3. The tacit colonisation of Australia becomes explicit.

    1.9 million unskilled third world unskilled PR
    One third of the 1.3 million unemployed, and double the Australian born rate in welfare dependency.
    2.561 million unskilled third world TR

    Then we add the migrant elderly burden.
    7.3 million non Australian born – x say 20% or 1.46 million x 2 parents each = 3 million elderly sick unproductive migrant burden.

    90% concentration in Sydney & Melbourne.

  4. Voting for the alp is now almost treasonous for u and your descendants based on this policy

    The only question is when this breaks down and there is a massive backlash. Or are Australians too passive she will be right I am ok jack?

    • Nope just ignorant, sub optimal IQ and more interested in watching MAFS than reading about the state of their country.#dumbstralia

  5. Just so y’all know. Alp fed Mps dont give a f about anything other than virtue signaling.

    I said I was an ex labor voter who thinks the party has lost their way…they told me it was good that the party had changed and is caring more about social issues and not back to the bad old days of the alp where they cared about australia eg the alp war PM

    They really dont care. Destroy australia for a few votes

  6. Ha ha. Who finds these photos?

    The big mistake was letting in their kids.

    I met a Greek Australian and he does not live with his father – let alone his grandfather.

    That $84k figure should be the minimum salary on the 457 visa. Plenty of grandpa whingers are on $10/hour. Why even give AUS citizenship to foreign “graduates” on ultra low wages?

  7. When you see policies like these where a political party is willing to trash our long term future for their own short term gain, you know our democracy is in trouble. The fact they even suggest politics like this shows that we have lost control of our future. And they tell us diversity is strength; they just forgot to say their strength, not ours.

  8. This is cultural indigestion. I like immigrants. I’m one myself. But we can only absorb immigrants slowly, or else we get “heartburn”. Yeah?