• sbs.com.au

Government report says skilled migrants have benefited Australia

India is Australia's biggest source of skilled and family migrants and these migrants have generated billions for the Australian economy.

A new report by the Australian government has found skilled migrants are adding to Australia's wealth and aren't living on welfare or robbing local workers of jobs.

This joint research titled ‘SHAPING A NATION: Population growth and immigration over time’ by Treasury and the Department of Home Affairs released on Tuesday, cites International Monetary Fund estimates showing Australia's migration program will add up to one percent to annual average GDP growth from 2020 to 2050, because it limits the economic impact of the ageing population.

The report comes on the heels of debate around Immigration intake heating up in Australia.

The report states, “Migrants have contributed to both Australia’s total GDP and GDP per person.”

“Migrants, particularly skill stream migrants who account for around 70% of Australia’s migrant intake, contribute to GDP per person in a number of ways.

“They offset Australia’s ageing population, improve labour force participation and productivity, and help businesses to source skills that are difficult to develop at short notice,” it states.

The report reveals unemployment among skilled migrants is low and skilled migrants also contribute more to the government than receiving services and benefits.

“Skill stream migrants are also estimated to contribute more to government revenue through taxation than they receive through government services and benefits.

“Even migrants in the family stream, who are not brought into Australia for their skills, are estimated to have a positive fiscal impact over their lifetimes, provided that they arrive relatively early in their working life.

“In addition, the increased diversity that migrants bring is likely to play an important role in helping Australian businesses to innovate in the face of intensified global competition and technological change.”

The report also cites the IMF estimates that Australia’s current migration program will add between ½ and 1% points to annual average GDP growth over the period 2020 to 2050 through its effect of limiting the economic impact of Australia’s ageing population.

India is Australia's biggest source of skilled and family migrants, according to data from the federal government.

Over 20% of migrants in 2016-17 came from India. 38,854 visas were granted to Indians in 2016-17 making it the biggest pool of skilled migrants and those granted family visas.

Today, Indian-born residents account for around 3% to 4% of the population in Perth, Sydney and Melbourne, and around 2% in Brisbane and Adelaide.

Indian-born taxpayers have generated billions for the Australian economy, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

In October 2016, ABS revealed that out of $53.4 billion income generated by migrant taxpayers, Indian-born taxpayers generated a whopping $7.9 billion in the year 2011-12.

Most of this income ($49 billion, or 91 percent) was earned as an employee, with the majority reported by skilled migrants.

India-born Sonia Gandhi who started her marketing, public relations, and event management company in Sydney a decade ago says Indian migrants have contributed immensely to Australia.

“Traditionally Indians are well educated and have a great command of English so as migrants this is a huge value-add from an economic perspective.

“They are also very business focussed and quite aggressive when it comes to their career. When you come from a country with 1.3 billion people you always have to stay ahead of the game.

“Gone are the days when Indian migrant only came as IT professionals, we have data that proves that they also excel in the area of health and science and are born to be entrepreneurs,” she says.

Today besides being the Director of Gandhi Creations Pty. Ltd & India Australia Business Community Awards, Gandhi is a board member of multicultural NSW and an Australia Day Ambassador for 2018.

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