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Budget tips are a big rebound for immigration in New Zealand


Contrary to widespread expectations of a brain drain, New Zealand’s Treasury Department believes the immigration boom is imminent.

However, Finance Minister Grant Robertson is not so sure after announcing his fifth budget on Thursday with mostly negative reactions from both the left and the right.

The budget contains huge government spending provided by increasing tax revenues from record low unemployment, funding major health care reforms and climate change.

There is also a distribution of $ 350 ($ 318) to more than two million kiwis struggling with record inflation, and small offers for the poorest, including discounted public transportation.

The easing of inflation stole local headlines, much to the chagrin of the finance minister.

“Despite what the media told you, the budget was really something other than the cost of living package,” he said at a busy post-budget business lunch in Wellington.

Mr Robertson presents the budget as a key moment for major reforms, including the country’s first emission reduction plan, as well as a massive health and investment boom.

The opposition ridiculed the budget as a lost opportunity for tax reform that could have avoided net migration losses.

New Zealand has long suffered from a brain drain to Australia, given the excellent wages and conditions offered in many industries.

However, over the past decade, New Zealand has overcome Tasman’s drift west with immigrants from other places, which has yielded positive results from migration.

Now it has stopped, and New Zealand statistics last week confirmed a total net migration loss of 7,300 people in the 12 months to March.

Despite the rapid rise in inflation, which is 6.9 percent ahead of wage growth, and rising interest rates, the Ministry of Finance has forecast a net migration growth of 14,000 this year, which will rise to 40,000 in 2026.

This contradicts the current scheme and the forecast from other countries in the government of the mass movement of 50,000 to 125,000 kiwis abroad in connection with the restoration of the border.

Any major shift would cause tremendous stress in a busy job market with an unemployment rate of just 3.0 percent.

Mr Robertson did not say what migration predictions he believes.

“It’s hard for everyone to appreciate,” he said, “but New Zealand remains an attractive place for people.”

The budget also included funding for two of Labor’s best projects: fair pay agreements that allow for collective bargaining across the industry, and income insurance schemes to help laid-off workers.

For many groups working with low-income kiwis, this was not enough.

“We were hoping for something bold,” said Ines Asher, a spokeswoman for the Anti-Poverty Action Group.

The budget also did not satisfy the university sector: staff, students and research groups condemned the reduction in funding in real terms.


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