Life in the inner city feels like one big constant traffic jam. According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), Australia’s population increased by 388,000 to 24.8 million people in 2017 . And the destination for most immigrants is the inner-city suburbs of Sydney and Melbourne.
The overall population of Australia may be growing at 1.6% but, according to the ABS, the inner-city population is increasing by 3.7% per annum. The Government loves the immigration because it gets to claim that it has created 1 million jobs since being elected in 2013. The fact that the population has increased by 1.5 million, predominately from immigration, maybe the predominant factor rather than the Government’s claim of strong economic management via business tax cuts and delivering more trade deals. The Government may have turned back the boats, but it hasn’t turned back the planes.
A Treasury briefing obtained by Fairfax Media shows that a 30,000 cut in immigration would cost the Federal budget $500 million a year. It would make political sense to maintain the status-quo. It appears that a lot of the Government’s economic credentials are based on continuing high immigration levels rather than true economic reform.
There is a growing chorus of opinion questioning Australia’s high immigration levels. Our economy may be growing, but everyone’s share is shrinking. The political reality of the Government taking high immigration and company tax cuts for the big end of town to the next election, given last Saturday’s by-election loss, is extremely courageous, as Sir Humphrey Appleby would say.