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Slashing immigration won’t solve problems, treasurer tells 3AW

in studio with neil mitchell

Scott Morrison has brushed off a push from Tony Abbott to slash immigration, saying the former Prime Minister’s reasoning doesn’t stack up.

Mr Abbott said Australia’s current migration was level was too high, leading to “stagnant wages, clogged infrastructure, soaring house prices and ethnic gangs testing the resolve of police in Melbourne”.

However, speaking on 3AW Mornings, the federal treasurer said Australia’s immigration level had little do with those problems.

He told Neil Mitchell migration had in fact helped the economy.

“It’s a separate issue,” Mr Morrison said on 3AW.

“I can understand why people would be superficially attracted to this idea that if you lower the level of permanent immigration that it would have this impact, but let’s just think it through.”

He said slashing immigration in half would result in a budget hit of about “$4-5 billion” over the next four years.

Mr Morrison also pointed out that the majority came as skilled migrants, however, those would be the migrants cut with family-related migration taking priority.

“The level of permanent immigration to Australia actually hasn’t change since about 2011,” the treasurer said.

“So, when I was immigration minister and Tony Abbott was Prime Minister it was the same as it was today.”

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in studio with neil mitchell