The Government’s immigration failures are making inflation worse and hurting Kiwis’ back pockets, National’s Immigration spokesperson Erica Stanford says.
“Wednesday’s Monetary Policy Statement from the Reserve Bank confirmed that labor shortages are the worst they have been in 50 years. It said that the inflationary consequences of labor shortages are even worse than in May when the border was largely closed.
“This is a damning indictment of the Labor Government’s failure to deliver the critical workers needed. Kiwis will feel the brunt of this failure, with higher prices forecasted to persist for longer.
“Labour’s immigration policies have been a disaster. Just five per cent of the 20,000 workers promised in March have arrived, and only 442 Accredited Employer Work Visa applications have been submitted in five weeks despite Immigration New Zealand forecasting 3,500 per month.
“This Labor Government has turned New Zealand into an undesirable destination for migrants. Why would a skilled migrant choose New Zealand in 2022 compared to what Australia can offer?
“Wages are higher in Australia, and the cost of living is lower. It takes the average Kiwi an hour to earn what an Australian makes in 45 minutes. Crime is rising, with ram raids leading the news every morning. Patients are being turned away from critically understaffed emergency departments.
“Even if a migrant was to put this aside, the Government is still yet to announce a pathway to residence for the majority of skilled migrants we desperately need. Without certainty, migrants are much less likely to choose New Zealand.
“It’s not just migrants either. Kiwis are looking overseas and thinking the grass looks greener elsewhere under Labour. In the year to June, 11,500 more people left New Zealand than arrived.
“The Government’s immigration policies have been a total disaster, and Kiwis are paying the price. Labor shortages will drag on for longer, putting more pressure on businesses and stoking inflation across the economy.”
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