Immigration blowout to cost billions: Crabtree

May 14, 2019

The promise by Labor and the Greens to make it much easier for migrants to bring dependent elderly relatives into the country risks an uncontrolled blowout in immigration numbers and will impose unacceptable costs on Australians, according to Australian Conservatives’ Senate candidate Jonathan Crabtree.

In one of the most reckless policy decisions in recent history, Labor announced last month that, if elected, it would completely uncap sponsored parents’ visas. Labor also plans to allow a single household to sponsor up to four parents at a time, and reduce the cost of a parent visa to a mere $2,500 every five years. Labor's parent visa will be renewable, thus offering de facto permanent residency.
 
The Greens have also announced that they want to relax parent visa rules.
 
The proposed changes are unparalleled in their laxity.
 
Population experts have warned that Labor’s policy could easily generate at least 200,000 parent applications within the first three years, unleashing a further surge in immigration that would place additional strain on cities, public services and budgets.
 
It will invariably increase demand for hospital beds and doctors at a time when health systems across the country are already under immense pressure and struggling to keep up with current immigration-driven population growth, which is running at extremely high rates.
 
I refer to the research by the Productivity Commission indicating that the cumulated lifetime fiscal costs of a parent visa holder in 2015-16 were estimated to be between $335,000 and $410,000 per adult – costs ultimately borne by the existing Australian community.
 
The Productivity Commission found that, as there was a new inflow each year, the accumulated taxpayer liabilities became increasingly larger and this would require either additional taxes or forgoing government expenditure in other areas.
 
Uncapping the number of entrants and reducing visa fees will see the costs to the Australian taxpayer quickly balloon even further and represents egregious fiscal policy.
 
The Left's proposed visa changes are a cynical attempt to win votes in certain marginal urban seats with a high overseas-born population and are clearly contrary to the national interest.
 
The Australian Conservatives want the overall rate of immigration halved, the visa process radically reformed, Australian citizenship rules tightened and an end to the immigration rorts, which are costing Australian taxpayers billions of dollars every year, and seriously eroding our prosperity and our way of life.
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