Doubling immigration numbers would boost the economy
A New Zealand economic think tanks claims that doubling the country’s immigration target could boost the economy by $1.8 billion annually. According to the New Zealand Institute of Economic Research, increasing the number of immigrants will help to increase incomes and drive business competition.
Over the past decade annual net migration figures have hovered around 15,000, a figure that is well below the 40,000 to 50,000 the government officially wants to attract. Increasing this target to 80,000 over the next decade will dramatically increase GDP, according to the NZIER.
Lead economist Kirdan Lees said an increase in skilled immigrant numbers would bring in new business skills and drive entrepreneurial competition. He explained that by doubling the immigration target New Zealand would benefit from a larger population base and firms would be able to choose from a larger complimentary skills pool.
The think tank also said the positive aspects of increased immigration would outweigh any negative pressure on transport, housing and schools. Dr Lees said there was global evidence to show that migrants impacted the income of domestic residents in a positive way.
However, the government said it currently has no plans to change its immigration policy and that the number of migrants entering New Zealand was in line with the country’s population and economic forecast.
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