Judith Sloan: Returning to high immigration will kill wages

Dr Judith Sloan was the Commissioner in charge of the Productivity Commission’s 2006 review into the Economic Impacts of Migration and Population Growth. Thus, she speaks with authority on the topic. Dr Sloan has penned a decisive article in The Australian today arguing that a “return to high migrant intake is a wages killer”: Recent


Abul Rizvi: immigration system is being used to lower wages

In April last year, Abul Rizvi – former Deputy Secretary of the Department of Immigration and one of the architects of Australia’s faux ‘skilled’ migration program – penned a spurious article arguing that Australia’s economy would suffer badly from the reduction in temporary migrants: If 50% of long-term temporary entrants depart, Australia would experience negative


RBA demands low immigration for higher wages

The most revered economist in Australia, RBA governor Phil Lowe, has become the defacto best union official in the country, arguing for higher wage inflation for quite some time. In yesterday’s Keynote Address at the Australian Farm Institute Conference, Lowe concluded that “the Board wants to see the recent recovery transition into strong and durable


It’s official: Australia has lost 74k migrants during pandemic

It’s official. Australia has lost 73,900 migrants since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, according to Q4 population data released yesterday by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS): As shown above, Australia has recorded three consecutive quarters of negative net overseas migration (NOM), specifically: -7,800 in Q2 2020 -41,200 in Q3 2020 -24,900 in Q4


Restauranteurs confess: immigration kills wages

Yesterday, CBA’s head of Australian economics, Gareth Aird, released data showing that the coronavirus pandemic has reduced the number of non-resident workers in Australia from 521,000 in Q1 20 to 235,000 in Q1 21: In turn, this has driven unemployment and labour underutilisation down, which will soon likely result in stronger wage growth: According to


Morrison to green-light dedicated farm slavery visa

In March the federal government released a 327-page report from the National Agricultural Labour Advisory Committee, which explicitly admitted that the agricultural industry’s overreliance on cheap migrant labour is bad for productivity and unsustainable: Australia’s main competitors in agriculture are either ahead or running very close. In many ways, Australia is at a crossroads. Either its


Aussie farm visa slaves paid just ‘$9 a day’

Earlier this year, the National Farmers Federation (NFF) called for a Dedicated Agriculture Visa program ease purported chronic labour shortages across the sector: To provide a stable and sustainable workforce for agriculture that is fair and equitable for both workers and employers, the NFF supports the introduction of a Dedicated Agriculture Visa program… providing a


Adair Turner exposes Treasury’s mass immigration myopia

Over the weekend, The AFR reported that the Morrison Government will use the Australian Treasury’s upcoming intergenerational report (IGR) as ammunition to reboot the mass immigration ‘Big Australia’ policy (see yesterday’s post). The IGR will reportedly “show the country is getting older, more indebted and reliant on taxing younger workers, and driving up spending”. Therefore,


Coalition, Treasury collude to reopen immigration floodgates

The Weekend AFR gave its strongest indication yet that the Morrison Government will use Treasury’s upcoming Intergenerational Report (IGR) as ammunition to reopen the mass immigration floodgates: This month’s Intergenerational Report will be “used to reinforce the government’s case to boost immigration once the pandemic ends”. “It will show the country is getting older, more


NSW Government: Rebooting immigration will cause housing shortages

Last week, the NSW Productivity Commission (PC) released a White Paper explicitly stating that Sydney’s housing shortage was caused by an unexpected boom in Sydney’s population when the federal government threw open the immigration floodgates in 2005: Much evidence suggests that our State, and Sydney in particular, has not delivered enough housing over many years.


Labour shortage drives productivity-lifting automation

A recent report from the National Agricultural Labour Advisory Committee admitted that Australian farmers’ extreme reliance on cheap migrant labour is having detrimental productivity impacts by preventing farms from adopting new methods and investing in automation: In many ways, Australia is at a crossroads. Either its enterprises go all out to modernise by learning and


Judith Sloan takes axe to edu-migration rent seekers

The Australian’s Judith Sloan has penned a terrific article explaining why the “Tidal wave of overseas students must stop”. Sloan claims that senior administrators at Australia’s universities are relentless rent-seekers and will take every opportunity to lobby the federal government to open the nation’s international borders to foreign students. Instead, Sloan insists that any decision


Australia’s low wage growth is by design

Over the weekend, ABC business reporter, Gareth Hutchens, published an article suggesting that “stagnant wages” and “labour market ‘slack’” are part of the “federal government’s plan”. Hutchens sites the collapse in wage growth over the past decade or so: He then notes that the mass immigration policy pursued by the federal government meant that despite


Australian hospitality workers desperately seeking better pay

The Weekend Australian ran a full page spread entitled “Australian hospitality workers, where the bloody hell are you?”, which complained about the ‘crippling’ labour shortages across the hospitality and tourism industries. All the usual canards were mentioned: “With closed international borders and strong domestic demand, critical staff shortages are seeing managers stepping in as cleaners


Why is Treasury setting Australia’s immigration numbers?

Late last month, the Senate Legal and Constitutional Affairs Legislation Committee heard testimony from immigration department officials, who confirmed that the Australian Treasury sets the nation’s immigration numbers and population policy [my emphasis]: Senator KENEALLY: I do want to get to the NOM number — the net overseas migration number… Mr Pezzullo: Questions about the


ACCI demands wage cuts and visa slaves

The Australian Chamber of Commerce & Industry (ACCI) continues to talk with a forked tongue on the labour market. It recently sent a submission to the Morrison Government’s migration program review whereby it demanded easier access to foreign workers to ameliorate purported crippling labour shortages: “Skills shortages have been exacerbated by the prolonged closure of


Hallelujah! AFR attacks immigration ponzi economy

The AFR’s Economics editor, John Kehoe, has broken rank and penned an op-ed attacking Australian policy makers’ extreme reliance on mass immigration to drive growth. Specifically, Kehoe argues that Australia’s productivity growth collapsed as immigration ran hot, worsening living standards for incumbent residents: “For too long the federal and state governments have relied on the


Australian Treasury: Lower immigration will push up wages

Speaking to a Senate committee yesterday, Treasury secretary Steven Kennedy admitted that the sharp reduction in foreign workers due to Australia’s closed international border will put upward pressure on wages: Dr Kennedy… indicated that border closures and the loss of foreign workers to fill skills gaps might result in wages growing faster than the budget’s forecasts.


Rebooting immigration will deliver monster housing shortage

The AFR is running an article claiming that “Millennials are a time bomb for the NSW property market”. Citing a NSW Productivity Commission (PC) White Paper, The AFR claims that Peter Costello’s Baby Bonus generation will soon need their own housing, which will drive a chronic shortage of homes across Sydney in the second half


Could Grattan’s skilled visa reforms slash numbers?

Yesterday, the Grattan Institute released a new report entitled “Rethinking permanent skilled migration after the pandemic”, which calls for fundamental changes to Australia’s permanent skilled migration system. Central to the report’s recommendations was to lift the pay floor on primary skilled visa holders to $80,000 indexed to male weekly earnings. The report also recommends tightening


Nordic countries show the way on immigration

My email inbox was hit with the following advertisement from The Australia Institute promoting a new book imploring Australia to copy the Nordic nations on policy: The Australia Institute’s Nordic Policy Centre is delighted to announce a new book The Nordic Edge: Policy Possibilities for Australia, edited by Andrew Scott and Rod Campbell, published by


Grattan: Lift skilled visa pay floor to $80,000

The Grattan Institute has released a new report entitled “Rethinking permanent skilled migration after the pandemic”, which calls for fundamental changes to Australia’s permanent skilled migration system, which accounted for around 60% of Australia’s permanent migrants (including the humanitarian intake) before COVID hit in 2019: The crux of the Grattan’s recommendations are to: Rejig the


How to reform Australia’s skilled visa system

The skilled stream is the largest component of Australia’s permanent migration program accounting for 61% (110,000) of Australia’s 179,000 permanent migrants (including the humanitarian intake) before COVID hit in 2019: Empirical survey data from the Department of Home Affairs’ Continuous Survey of Australia’s Migrants shows that Australia’s permanent migration program is failing to attract highly


Jim Chalmers demands wage-killing immigration boost

As we know, the Morrison Government has locked itself into a high immigration future by declaring open war on Australian workers via: Abolishing labour market testing requirements. Lowering costs and speeding up approval times for importing foreign workers. Expanding the skilled occupation list to include almost any role. Providing all ‘skilled’ visa holders with a clear


“Population Ponzi” delivers “nightmare of high debt and high taxes”

For years I have lambasted Victoria’s ponzi economy, which relied far too much on extreme immigration-fueled population increases to drive growth. This was always unsustainable and delivered falling living standards for incumbent residents in the pre-COVID years. Anyone that disputed these facts only needed to look at the below charts showing Victoria’s sluggish export growth,


Ardern Labour shows the way on immigration reform

Earlier this month, the Ardern Labour Government of New Zealand vowed to end low-skilled, wage crushing migration via a “once-in-a generation” reset for New Zealand’s immigration system. It flagged a significantly smaller migration intake post-Covid that focuses on highly skilled, highly paid and productive migrants that fill genuine skills shortages. This means abolishing the current


There is no labour shortage, only a shortage of wages has published a article debunking incessant claims by businesses of labour shortages as economies reopen. says “it’s not that people don’t want to work — it’s that they don’t want to work for so little” and claims that employers offering good pay are being inundated with job applicants: Dan Price, the CEO of