Judith Sloan demolishes ‘Big Australia’ carpetbaggers

The Australian’s Judith Sloan, a former commissioner at the Productivity Commission, has demolished the vested interests pushing for a quick return to mass immigration.

In summary:

  • Supporters of a ‘Big Australia’ include the property sector, universities and other educational institutions, and federal Treasury.
  • These organisations never consider the downsides of high immigration levels, including lower wage growth, urban congestion, pressure on services such as health and schooling, and in the case of universities declining education standards.
  • “The unrelenting academic and bureaucratic support for high rates of immigration”, such as from the ANU demography department and the Australian Treasury is “unforgivable”. Propaganda has beaten empirical evidence.
  • Research from the Productivity Commission debunks their claimed benefits of mass immigration. “Immigration has no noticeable impact on the demographic composition of population, in part because ­migrants themselves age”. There is also little evidence that “just having more people really does anything to our fiscal position, either federally or at the state level”.
  • “Over the past decade or so, we have had large-scale immigration associated with stalling per capita GDP growth (and associated sluggish productivity growth)”.
  • The lack of immigration as a result of border closures on the back of the pandemic has resulted in unemployment falling significantly, while signs of wages pressure are beginning to emerge.
  • The “RBA has now gone 180 degrees on immigration, acknowledging that all along immigration was suppressing wage growth by bringing in more workers and that lower population is likely to be associated with higher per capita GDP”. In its latest Statement on Monetary Policy the RBA noted that “wages pressures [could emerge] more quickly if new ­labour supply remains constrained” and that “the level of GDP is still expected to remain a little below that forecast before the pandemic, mostly due to lower population growth; in per capita terms, GDP is expected to be on a higher trajectory”.
  • Leading economists Gareth Aird, Professor Ross Garnaut and Saul Eslake have each recently confirmed this view.
  • “Thankfully, the number of these alternative voices [to mass immigration] is increasing, as well as the noise they are making”. Yet, Treasurer Josh Frydenberg continues to “fall for the Big Australia trap” and follow Treasury’s “shoddy advice”.

Thankyou Judith Sloan. She is one of the few economists in Australia that has been consistent on this issue and fought long and hard against the ‘Big Australia’ carpetbaggers and propagandists.

Unconventional Economist
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  1. The increased prevalence of this view is a victory for you guys too. Well done.

    It also only took a catastrophic global pandemic to change views – very heartening for the future.

    Worth noting that the govt spruikers are mostly federal whilst the negative externalities of their policy choices fall on the states – another structural failing. Abolish states govs move this up to federal and beef up local please.

    • I love this story and am starting to get Reusa feelings when someone utters Ms Sloans name!!

  2. In effect, it is mass migration that allows the chameleon Coalition to lord it over static Labor with the biggest lie of all – they’re superior economic managers. Labor has been going along with this for 15 years, both before and after the GFC.

  3. Charles MartinMEMBER

    I can’t wait to hear what Kevin “Big Australia” Rudd has to say about this.

  4. TailorTrashMEMBER

    ANU demography department ?
    ….Judith better watch out she didn’t get hit by a flying meat pie …..


      Anyway, it’s interesting that the Scrote appears to be a bit resistant to opening the borders, but the Frydenborg is very much pro.


  5. Well played Judith – now spread the message far and wide and put it in general terms for the populace.

    “Higher immigration equals less take home pay for Australian workers.”

      • TheRedEconomistMEMBER

        A quick LinkedIn search uncovers Ms D’Souza is also a Board member of International Education Association of Australia which is described nicely as Australia’s leading organisation for international education.

        Vested .. much..

  6. It wonder if it is a bit frosty in The Australian tea room when Gotti and Judy cross paths.

  7. happy valleyMEMBER

    “Treasurer Josh Frydenberg continues to “fall for the Big Australia trap” …”

    Josh would probably do whatever it takes to eventually get the keys to The Lodge and Kirribilli House?