The consequences of immigration restrictions

The Herald reports:

The New Zealand Manufacturers and Exporters Association (NZMEA) has come out in favour of the government’s possible backtrack on changes.

In April, Immigration Minister Michael Woodhouse unveiled a ‘Kiwis first’ immigration policy which made it harder for firms to hire overseas, with new restrictions on temporary work visas for anyone earning less than the median wage. The government then planned to categorise high and low-skilled temporary work visas depending on how much a person earns, introduce a three-year limit for how long low-skilled workers can stay, and impose a one-year stand-down period.

The planned crackdown on temporary work visas came six months after the government raised the bar on the skilled migrant visa, with record immigration a hot topic in the forthcoming election.

In an interview on Radio New Zealand’s Morning Report this morning, Prime Minister Bill English said he “wouldn’t describe it as a u-turn”, but confirmed that proposed changes to skilled migrant visa conditions are under review following complaints from businesses and the regions.

The NZ economy is adding 11,500 jobs a month or 66 jobs per working week hour. Migrants are not taking jobs from Kiwis. They are filling jobs that employers can’t find anyone else to do.

Even the very modest changes made by National have seen employers saying they are unable to fill jobs. That constrains the economy, and is bad for everyone. The more radical proposals from Labour and NZ First to slash net migration by 75% to 90% willquite simply crash the economy.

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