Assessment of economic benefits of migration to Australia

From the Australian Ministry of immigration and Citizenship, a report that the skills shortage in the country is being filled in part by immigration, with a positive economic result:
Friday 22 August 2008
A report by respected economic analyst Access Economics shows that new migrants to Australia deliver hundreds of millions of dollars to the Commonwealth budget and the broader economy every year.
In a speech to the Australian Mines and Metals Association in Perth August 22 of this year, the Minister for Immigration and Citizenship, Senator Chris Evans, said that the overall fiscal impact of migration is substantially positive and grows over time in real terms.
In its Migrant Fiscal Impact Model: 2008 Update, Access looked at the costs that migrants impose on health, education, welfare, employment and settlement services compared to the fiscal benefits from taxation and visa charges.
For the 2006-07 migration program, Access estimated a total benefit of $536 million in the first year, then another $856 million in year two, growing steadily over time to reach $1.34 billion by year 20.
‘Applying the same modelling to the 2007-08 migration program, the net fiscal benefit is $610 million in year one, $965 million in year two then growing to $1.5 billion by year 20,’ Senator Evans said.


‘The forecast for the 2008-09 migration program is for an $829 million benefit in the first year, $1.16 billion in the second year, then $1.8 billion by year 20.’
Senator Evans said the Access modelling dispelled the myth that new migrants imposed a huge impost on the taxpayer.
‘The positive fiscal impact is particularly pronounced for skilled migrants, which reflects their high rate of labour market participation and higher incomes which in turn leads to a high level of direct tax receipts,’ Senator Evans said.
‘Migrants also contribute to the broader economy through spending on goods and services.
‘As well as the economic benefits, skilled migrants help Australian employers fill critical labour gaps at a time many businesses are facing capacity constraints.
‘The bottom line is that our migration program is vital to keep the economy growing as well as helping Australian businesses overcome skills and labour shortages.
‘Australia is facing a demographic shift that will see more people retire than join the workforce so the permanent skilled migration program provides a stable, effective and targeted source of skilled workers.’
Australia’s migration program increased annually over the last decade under the previous government to the point where the 2007-08 migration program was the biggest provided by Australia since the 1960s.
The 2007-08 migration program comprised 108 540 places (68 per cent) in the skilled migration stream and 49 870 places (31 per cent) in the family migration stream. Another 13 000 refugee and humanitarian visas were granted in 2007-08.
Last year’s intake represents a seven per cent increase on the 2006-07 migration program which totalled 158 960 places, of which two thirds (97 920) were skilled migrants.
The 2008-09 migration and humanitarian program is expected to total 203 000 visa grants, with 133 500 allocated for skilled migrants, 13 500 places for refugee and humanitarian entrants and a further 56 500 places in the family stream.

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