The government’s proposal to cap skilled migration to Australia could have a detrimental flow-on impact to Australian business, according to one software giant.
On Tuesday evening’s federal budget, Treasurer Josh Frydenberg released plans to reduce placements from 190,000 to 160,000 in its Migration Program.
More specifically, for the 2019–20 Migration Program, there will be 108,682 places in the skill stream, 47,732 places in the family stream, with a combined 3,586 places for child and special eligibility streams.
The impact on business
MYOB chief executive Tim Reed said that any move that would reduce the number of skilled immigrants could ultimately translate to poorer outcomes for the business community.
“The reduction in the cap on migration is something that is more likely to create a challenge [in the business environment],” Mr Reed said.
“Reducing the number of skilled migrants can reduce capacity for growth.”
Surplus boosts confidence
Mr Reed also said that, overall, the federal budget should inspire confidence for business.
“Looking [at the] big picture, I think getting the budget back in the black is good for small business and confidence. It gives a stable footing,” he said.
“It adds to the worry and the concern when there is a deficit.
“What is good for our clients is good for us… so a good [outcome] for small business is good.”
It’s important to note that while the government is touting it is “back in the black”, Australia, as it stands, remains in the red and will finish this financial year in deficit. The surplus forecast is for the 2019–20 financial year.