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Shift in balance reduced economic benefits

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Philip Ruddock MP 65

Federal Member for Dundas Shadow Minister for Immigration and Ethnic Affairs

Electorate Tel: (02) 858 1011 Fax: (02) 804 6739 Tel: (06) 277 4343

Fax: (06) 277 2062

Parliament House


The Government has admitted that the overall skills intake in the new program will be reduced from 30% to 26%.

All the substantive research on the economics of immigration has suggested that the economic benefits which accrue to Australia from immigration are substantially increased if the skilled intake is high.

The Coalition has consistently argued that the program ought to reflect the national interest by increasing the proportion of skilled categories against the family reunion categories.

Comments by former head of the National Population Council Professor Glen Withers has confirmed the Coalition's concern about the balance of the governments 1992-93 immigration program.

Professor Withers has claimed that the restructured program "is not going to help the recession". He was also reported as saying that the overall effect of the cuts was to lose the program's balance and its capacity to help the recovery by bringing in skilled workers.

Michael Easson, Secretary of the NSW Labor Council has also argued for a more economically focused immigration program arguing also that reductions in the program will not silence critics "especially if the average skills and the employability of those arriving drop", which they clearly have.

In its failure to consider the economic importance of the immigration program, the Government has ignored its responsibility to the Australian community. ยท