27 August 2008

Report: migrants boost Australian economy by hundreds of millions every year

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In a press release last week, the Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) praised the success of its Australian migration program for boosting the economy by hundreds of millions of dollars every year.

In a speech to the Australian Mines and Metals Association in Perth, the Minister for Immigration Senator Chris Evans said a report by Access Economics shows that the contribution of new migrants to Australia is overwhelmingly positive and will continue to grow in real terms.

The report, Migrant Fiscal Impact Model: 2008 Update, compared the fiscal benefits from taxation and visa charges with the costs imposed on the public systems such as health, education and welfare, and showed that over 2006-07, Australia received an overall benefit of $536 million from Australian migration.

Senator Evans told the conference the predicted benefit for the year 2008-09 is $829 million, then $1.16 billion the year after, and by the twentieth year the forecasted benefit should reach $1.8 billion.

"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.

"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," he added.

The 2007-08 skilled migration program expanded to 108,540 places, while the family migration stream allowed 49,870 visas to be granted. 13,000 humanitarian and refugee visas were also granted during this same period.

The 2008-09 program will allow 203,000 visas to be granted, with 133,500 allocated to skilled migration, 13,500 for humanitarian and refugee applicants, and 56,500 family migrants. 

The Australian Visa Bureau is an independent consulting company specialising in helping people apply for an Australia visa.

Article by Jessica Bird, Australian Visa Bureau.

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