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“I can’t remember signing up for this”: RBA Governor touts economic benefits of big immigration

Warren Moore

With Australia’s population now surpassing the highly-anticipated 25 million mark, Reserve Bank governor Phillip Lowe has capitalised on the milestone to tout the economic benefits of excessive immigration.

This has stirred up some opposition.

The man at the helm of the RBA has said that the nation’s 1.5 percent a year population growth rate- among the highest in the world- is a “ basis for optimism about the future of our economy.”

The Australian’s Judith Sloan was quick to poke some rather invalidating holes in that argument. Though conceding immigration gives GDP a boost, Sloan says the yardstick should be per capita growth. Anything else overlooks the burdens of stagnating wage growth, infrastructural strain and congestion.

“Nobody is going to deny that if you bring in more people, that increases the size of the economy,” she tells Warren Moore.

“But that doesn’t mean people’s living standards are improving. That people are any wealthier.”

“I thought it was an extraordinary omission.”

Considering Australia’s population has ballooned by 1 million in 2 and a half years, Judith Sloan says the numbers need to be reined in and curtailed.

“The majority of people would like the immigration intake cut. I think a democratic government should be listening to those concerns.”

“Because I don’t know where we signed up for this. I can’t remember signing up for this.”

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Warren Moore