A new report has confirmed that skilled migration to Australia is of benefit to the country’s wealth, calling into question the debate about whether there is a need to cut immigration from the current 190,000 annual cap.
Released on Tuesday, the research was conducted by the Treasury and the Department of Home Affairs.
Citing estimates by the International Monetary Fund, the report revealed that the migration program will add up to one per cent of the country’s annual average GDP over five years from 2020 to 2025. The reason for this is that migrants’ participation in the workforce helps to limit the economic impact of an ageing population, which Australia is experiencing.
“Migrants deliver an economic dividend for Australia due to current policy settings which favour migrants of working age who have skills to contribute to the economy,” the report states.
The contribution of skilled migrants to tax revenue was found to generally exceed any claims in government support.
In fact the report warned against reducing immigration; if the numbers are not at the very least maintained, it will result in significantly lower economic growth.
“In the absence of migration, Australia’s workforce would begin shrinking in absolute terms by 2020,” said the report.
The report did reveal however that while migration has its benefits, if the population grows at an excessive rate that it could put pressure on infrastructure and housing, which needs to be addressed.