Shadow treasurer flips script on Dutton immigration cuts

But in an interview on 2GB last Friday, the opposition leader also promised to reduce net overseas migration (the total number after allowing departures and arrivals on all residence visas) to 160,000, which would be a reduction from 40 percent of the government’s target.

Taylor said on Wednesday the Coalition wanted to alleviate housing supply problems and would focus on attracting skilled migrants to support the construction sector while introducing a tiered system of student visas to reduce pressure on the rental market. .

The shadow treasurer painted a bleak picture of the economy, saying Australia was in a “per capita recession” and productivity had plummeted. While wages were rising, he noted that when inflation was considered, people’s wages were going back.

“Labor’s only response has been a big spending, big government and a big Australia approach,” Taylor said.

Treasurer Jim Chalmers called Taylor’s comments “chaotic.”

“The most important thing is that he could not explain the migration figures that were at the heart of Peter Dutton’s budget response,” Chalmers said on Wednesday afternoon.

Taylor’s speech came as major business bodies used a hearing on the Fair Work Commission’s annual pay review to argue against substantial increases in the minimum wage and instead focus on returning inflation to the target range of 2 to 3 percent.

Inflation is currently at 3.6 per cent, and Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry chief economist Peter Grist said the chamber proposed a 2 per cent increase to the minimum wage. This, he admitted, was a “modest fall” and a cut in real wages.

“We are concerned that a substantial increase will put more pressure on inflation and our approach is that the goal should be to bring that inflation into the target range,” Grist told the commission’s panel of experts.


Australian Industry Group head of national industrial relations policy Brent Ferguson echoed Grist’s position and said Australia faced challenging economic circumstances in which to review wages. He maintained that a 2.8 percent increase in the minimum wage was a “reasonable balance.”

Government representatives did not put a figure on the increase in the minimum wage, but recommended that workers’ real wages not decline.

“Many low-paid workers and their families are particularly hard hit by the cost of living crisis,” said Department of Employment and Labor Relations Chief Economist Matthew Cowgill.

Meanwhile, the ACTU and the United Workers Union called for a 5 per cent pay rise and argued that low-income Australians were suffering the most.

“While the panel’s decision (last year) seems certain to provide some prospective wage growth… the previous two decisions failed to do that and the burden of that legacy on continued pricing pressures has real-life effects,” said ACTU director of legal and industrial affairs Trevor. Clarke said.

Former Liberal treasurer Peter Costello, chairman of Nine Entertainment, which owns the newspaper, told a Financial Services Council breakfast in Melbourne on Wednesday that Chalmers’ latest budget was inflationary and wasted an opportunity to pay down debt.

“By any measure, this is a budget that stimulates and will therefore increase inflation, rather than subtract from it,” Costello said.

Spending decisions in the budget will cost $24.4 billion in total over five years across all measures, weakening the budget’s bottom line when the government expects this year’s $9.3 billion surplus to be followed by deficits that will rise to $112.8 billion over the next four years.

“We should be retiring debt. That was certainly the policy we had when I was in government: in good times we run surpluses and we pay off debt because we know that in bad times we will run deficits and build up debt,” said Costello, who was treasurer in the Howard government. between 1996 and 2007.

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