Crispin Hull demolishes mass immigration propaganda

The Canberra Times’ Crispin Hull has demolished the latest mass immigration propaganda spouted by business and government lobbyist KPMG (see here), which was unquestionably supported by the useful idiots at the ABC, SBS and The SMH:

There was more fear-mongering, self-serving, and flawed guestimates over population this week – this time from the quintessential accountant and consultant to big business and government, KPMG.

Shock, horror, Australia’s population would be 1.1 million less by 2029-30 because of the reduction in immigration caused by Covid. That would be a “$117 billion” hit to the economy over the decade by dragging down economic growth, KPMG calculates. That would leave every Australian $2850 worse off each year, KPMG says.

So, KPMG and its big-business clients hope that the masses will be lulled into supporting a return to higher immigration. Well, let’s hope a bit of counter-propaganda will prevent that.

Even on KPMG’s figures, this hit to the Australian economy and therefore living standards of Australians is suspect.

KPMG’s says GDP would be $117 billion lower each year by 2029-30 if we do not have these 1.1 million extra people, and that would leave every one of the 28 million Australians by then $2850 worse off each year – that is a total of $79.8 billion, let’s say $80 billion.

Bear with me with the figures.

But if instead we have the extra immigrants, that $80 billion will not be “lost” because of the extra $117 billion in GDP the immigrants would provide. Take that $80 billion for the existing population away from KPMG’s $117 billion, it leaves $37 billion a year for the 1.1 million immigrants themselves, which comes to just $33,636 each immigrant per year, well below the Australian average income. So they are dragging their heels. They are a cost to the Australian community not an asset.

There is clearly something wrong with these “plucked-from-the-air” figures.

KPMG’s study looks at what would happen if there was no vaccine – and therefore no immigration – after one year and after two years.

It quite reasonably says if there is no vaccine “real GDP would be 5.5 per cent lower in every year from 2029-30 and beyond” compared to no “COVID-19 triggering a slowdown in immigration”. It says “a 5.5 per cent reduction in real GDP in 2029-30 alone is equivalent to $117 billion”.

But there is the huge logical problem here. KPMG says that in a no-immigration environment caused by no vaccine, GDP would be 5.5% cent less. Yes, of course. But the 5.5% drop is not down to no immigration. Rather, it is down to all the other economically horrible things caused by a no-vaccine environment: closed businesses, closed borders, lack of confidence etc etc. But KPMG, to suit its own purposes, puts all of the lower GDP ($117 billion) down to no immigration and says the absence of immigration will cost every Australian $2850.

It ignores the following possibility: that a no-vaccine environment causes a 5.5% fall in GDP which is a lower fall than you would expect if Australia had also had to deal with costly high immigration and that if we had continued destructive high immigration in addition to Covid, we would have a 6% or 7% fall in GDP.

KPMG suggests that if we suddenly get a vaccine all we would have to do is allow 1.1 million immigrants in and the 5.5% GDP drop would disappear. This is delusional. In the post-Covid environment most of them would join the end of the dole queue in a profoundly shattered economy, just making things worse.

Covid aside, there are good grounds for concluding that the John Howard-inspired high-immigration policies since the late 1990s have cost Australians dearly, not just in economic terms but also in environmental and lifestyle costs.

It is all very well bringing in immigrants with their immediate incomes which add to overall GDP in the short-term. But GDP per head in the long term is cruelled by that. Schools, hospitals and transport infrastructure have to be built to accommodate them. That might be good for KPMG’s big-business clients just as their immediate consumption needs might similarly benefit them.

But it is not so good for existing residents. Increased congestion and agricultural and wilderness land being consumed by housing are just some of the costs.

High immigration has become a self-perpetuating myth. It was a great thing for Australia from 1945 to about 1970, but thereafter it should have been questioned, but was not.

The KPMG report is just another example of the myth. The KPMG report like so many other business-driven reports conclude that Australia should have higher immigration. If they were honest, they should say that higher immigration was the conclusion upon which they had based their assumptions, facts and arguments.

The KPMG report is just one more bit of a continuous stream of pro-population propaganda. Couched in statistics and the “science” of economics, it goes unchallenged especially by media that should do better: the ABC, SBS, The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age. They rarely if ever challenge high immigration because of a misguided fear of being branded racist or anti-multicultural.

You don’t have to agree with high immigration to prove you are not a racist or anti-mulitculturalism. You can do that by merely supporting Australia’s laudable non-race-based refugee intake.

But all KPMG and others have to do is throw in a few figures and statistics and the average semi-numerate journo swallows them like a python eating a rabbit – whole and undissected.

The fact is, existing multicultural communities have the most to lose from high immigration because it puts extra pressure on the very services they need most: public transport, translation services, schools, health services and so on.

Covid, of course, poses a real threat to the present pro-population Ponzi scheme. If Australia experiences a couple of years’ relief from the high-immigration, high-population mantra, ordinary people might like the result. There would be less pressure on schools, hospitals, public transport, housing costs and so on.

Suddenly, people might revolt against high immigration and high population growth which enriches the few at the expense of the many and at the expense of the natural environment and its non-human inhabitants.

Small wonder KPMG and others like them are serving up the scare-mongering manipulated figures they did this week – continuing to serve their big-business clients against the interests of the vast bulk of Australian residents.

Among the many things that Australians should question and change as a consequence of Covid, high immigration should be near the top of the list.

Bravo Crispin Hull. You are one of the few honest journalists left in Australia’s rentier media landscape.

Unconventional Economist
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  1. Wow , never thought I’d see the day a MSM journalist would write such an assessment. C19 the bad gift that keeps on giving good outcomes in so many obscure ways.

  2. LOLL
    But all KPMG and others have to do is throw in a few figures and statistics and the average semi-numerate journo swallows them like a python eating a rabbit – whole and undissected.
    This is excellent reporting. Thanks for that.

        • Am going to guess some sort of relation as Crispin is connected to the Canberra Times. Alan Hull was the racecaller at Canberra and Wagga for many years and Quentin Hull is his son. And anyone who calls a son Crispin is probably likely to call another one Quentin. Ditto for Wayne and then calling another son Darren.

  3. adelaide_economistMEMBER

    Yep that $117 billion lost was dodgy as but I’m sure it helps keep support for suicidally high migration amongst those worried about our economic future. It’s up there with the ‘huge’ contribution to ‘exports’ made by subcontinental students delivering ubereats.

    • You know, hopefully people now go “yea but dont we have that 60 billion saved from that other thing we can throw at this?” and take it with a grain of salt.

    • Jumping jack flash

      117 billion over 10 years, so a bit over 10 billion per year – estimated.

      So in other words 3 5ths of 5 8ths of SFA in the scheme of things.

      But if they add it all up over the period of 10 YEARS it starts to look like a big number, and one we should all be instantly shocked and get angry about.

      Nice try.

      • Who really wants migrants with lower earning outcomes, and higher health care and social welfare costs?

  4. I bet ABC 7:30 will go right out of their way to arrange an interview with Cristin Hull on this topic… LVO might even get a call-up ?

    • Yes they have cancelled a story about temporary visa migrants not being eligible for welfare and the injustice of it, just to accommodate a story featuring Crispin and Leith. Watch this space. And then watch this space some more.

  5. Up there in Port Douglas, the former CT editor can afford to speak the truth, on Big Australia.

    Meanwhile, at last Friday’s chummy Press Club session in Canberra, the Population Minister advised the press quislings that “job making” migrants would soon have us back to the “normal” of “fast population growth”.

    The October Budget will confirm. I bet the net migration target for the third out-year (2023) reverts to at least 160,000. That is, twice the historical average. If only we had a political party that would “put Australian workers first”. As Keneally phrased it so well, before Albanese marched her off, for the mandatory factory-reset.

    • Seeming as the COVID riddled sub continent appears to be the main source of Australia’s ‘skilled’ immigration intake these days, I’m not so sure whether Scummo and co. will be opening the borders anytime soon.

      • You’re talking common sense, Al La. Up against the Albanese Global Social Justice Party, Morrison is under no great pressure to pay attention to common sense. He can, I fear, do more or less as he pleases.

  6. Jumping jack flash

    “That would be a “$117 billion” hit to the economy over the decade…”

    Oh noes the sky is falling! The sky is falling!

    We currently spend about 100 billion on interest every year on our mortgages, which comes directly out of consumption, and they’re trying to sensationalise losing 117 billion over 10 years!?

    Give me a break.

    • Yeah about $117 billion over ten years .. about what we are going to loose on the submarines in under 5 years.

  7. Mr Hull has always been a shining light in the black hole of Australian “journalism”.

    And KPMG certainly plucked those figures from somewhere, but it wasn’t the air…more likely their pale, soft, flabby, perfumed and silk-clad ar$es.

    • Gee, do you think that it has anything to do with KPMG being one of 20 consultants that are going to run the privatised visa system in Australia?

      Just a coincidence maybe? I mean the ABC would have picked up on that bit of self interest – of course! After all Ms Tingle is a trusted “journalist” and would have a nose for such things – otherwise it would be propaganda and public policy made by those who stand to benefit.

      • Such cynicism in one so young!

        No doubt Ms Tingle knows which side her bread is buttered on, and directs her “journalistic” efforts accordingly, as they all do, with the odd exception of blokes like Crispin Hull and Michael West.

      • adelaide_economistMEMBER

        Spare a thought for the Big 4. Taking pay cuts is something for the little people, not them, so you know they’re hurting. The lease payment on that RS6 isn’t going to pay itself.

        • Ah yes, but life will end if the rivers of gold flowing from the privatisation of government services and policy advice are running dry. Because how will the private consultants be able to write the policy that best serves them unless the ideological-think-tanks-dressed-up-as-consultants are allowed to rape the public sector and tie the neoliberal puppet strings to institutions that should be impartial? Because if we had to return to impartial PS advice and an impartial ABC there is no telling what damage might be done to this little mates “economy”.

          And how will Ms Tingle be able to speak with authority about the benefits of mass population growth without a KPMG report in hand? Heaven forbid, she might have to go back to journalism – or at least look that word up in the glossary of the latest KPMG report.

  8. Australia has experienced very little community transmission of COVID outside Victoria, so no form of herd immunity exists and that means the borders can’t be opened without huge risk.

    The population ponzi economy promoted by the LNP, ALP, big business and the mainstream media is effectively dead until a safe and reliable vaccine can be mass produced.

    • adelaide_economistMEMBER

      Indeed. Which is why all MSM outlets seem busy convincing us plebs that the years to decades typically associated with developing safe vaccines is somehow no longer appropriate with corona 19 and we should all be comfortable with the jab because renowned medical researcher and biotech maven ScoMo tells us so. Indemnification of the pharma companies makes it safe for them and their lobbyist pals bank balances; not so much for the rest of the population.

      • The fact that the pharma companies have sought indemnification for their soi-disant “vaccines” tells me all I need to know about their confidence in their products, which must be somewhere around zero.. I share their lack of confidence.

    • You sound young ……………………………………………………………………………………………….. and dumb.

  9. Wonderful to hear at least *somebody* out there not taken in by the Lib/Lab conspiracy on this issue.

        • Yes, but the data they omit which is far more important, is their salaries and bonuses that wouldn’t rise as much.

          Let’s face it, none of this has anything to do with what’s in our interests.

    • Especially given the inflated price of everything due to so many people fighting over each other for everything from housing to parking to groceries.

    • It’s almost like an insurance payment – reduced time for an ambulance to get to you, less time waiting in an emergency room, reduced housing costs and the potential for a rise in pay. I’d say it pays for itself.

  10. Australia receives over 30,000 visa applications a day. That’s 11 million a year. I’m guessing that has been slashed quite nicely.