Last week I published an article titled, ‘The Refugee Crisis – When will we get it right?’. One of the issues surrounding developed governments accepting increased intake of refugees is the economic consequences. Many politicians and often individuals within the community argue that more refugees will destroy the economy and citizens will lose jobs and freedoms due to refugees taking their opportunities.
However, the day after this article was posted, a report was released by Deloitte Access Economics, commissioned by Oxfam Australia which called for the federal government to commit to the increase of refugees and also to create a visa stream for 10,000 humanitarian family reunifications annually.
Although this report focuses on Australia, it can be applied to any developed country as all countries are battling with the balance between the intake of refugees and the economy. The report found that increasing Australia’s refugee intake could boost the economy by $5 billion a year and sustain 35,000 full-time jobs for the next 50 years! This is insane! We have been living in a country consistently stating the CONSEQUENCES of refugees on the economy, but this report reveals the positive impact they can have.
A further argument which is presented is that refugees with limited comprehension ability or limited capacity to speak English will be detrimental to society. Contrastingly, the report stated that even migrants who arrive amid hardship with limited English skills or recognised qualification will benefit the country economically over time.
Here are the statistics of Deloitte’s research:
– Lifting the annual cap from 19,750 to 44,000 refugees by 2023 would grow the economy by $37.7 billion over the next 50 years
– The gross domestic product will be $4.9 billion greater annually between 2018-2019 and 2067-2068 compared to what it would have been under the base-case scenario where humanitarian migration remains at 2017-2018 levels for the next 5 years
This data also only considered a 5-year impact, with further permanent increases beyond 2023 signally exponential economic improvement.
Furthermore, the report acknowledges that new refugees struggled to enter the workforce initially. However, over 60% of refugees after living in Australia for 10-15 years gained secure employment, and the children of refugee’s had equal opportunities to the children of current Australians.
This is a moral issue, and I have no doubt in my mind that we should be taking in refugees as it is a responsibility of developed nations to lead the cause. However, I understand that for some people, other factors need to be considered. This report is a clear example of how we can earn money by increasing our intake of refugees. This is a deal to take seriously and act upon.
‘Refugees don’t have a choice, but you do.’