When thinking about possible topics for my first blogpost, I decided to go with Immigration— a hot, pressing issue that has been the center of many conversations currently, including mine. The media and government are making a lot of noise regarding Immigration, which is understandable since the 2019 election is coming up soon, and politicians need to make bold promises. But, right now most promises echo the notion of reducing immigration.
Let’s get this clear — I was born overseas and came to Australia back in 1999, just before the Olympic Games. It took me eight long years of studying and working hard to become an Australian citizen. I know firsthand how it feels to live in Australia without a stable ground in terms of a permanent visa.
Here’s what I personally think about stopping or reducing the flow of immigrants:
At Cleaning Star, we are currently unable to find many Australian citizens (or to be more specific people born in Australia) that are willing to do cleaning jobs. It is great that our economy is strong, and our unemployment level is low, but people are opting for “better” jobs instead of cleaning.
Yes, we do employ students and people (we do it legally by paying all the necessary taxes, Super, Insurances, etc.) coming to Australia on working holiday visas to clean many commercial premises and offices of our fantastic customers. We employ them because they are willing to do the “dirty” work— cleaning after others. We’re extremely lucky and grateful to have our team filled with such hard working employees.
Our motto is- We care to make your world cleaner! And our staff supports us in this mission.
What happens when our government makes statements about reducing immigration?
When an entity, as powerful as the government, makes statements admonishing immigration, it discourages talented and skilled people from coming into the country and contributing to the local and national economy by getting a job and making Australia their permanent home.
When they hear how difficult the process to get a permanent residency (PR) is, they decide not to come here at all, since there aren’t many other legal ways to obtain a PR. Instead, they go to other countries where life is similar to Australia, and more importantly, places where getting a residency status is easier.
The difficulty and ease of the process for getting a residency status is a whole other topic for another post, so let’s leave it out for now.
But, when skilled immigrants stop coming here, or even considering it as an option where they’d like to work and make a life of their own, it reduces the number of employable people in Australia.
And I’m not talking about businesses such as farming (and fruit picking), restaurants, coffee shops and many other industries that employ people who arrived from overseas.
Once we run out of skilled workers to employ for cleaning services, what will we do?
We have a few available options-
a) Close down the business which may result in the following:
- Australian Taxation Office (ATO) will lose out on a significant portion of our taxes (currently, we collect and pay over $200k p. a. in various taxes, insurances, car registrations fees, etc.)—is that a sound decision for the government and us? I doubt it.
- Everybody will lose their good paying, stable jobs.
b) Employ people who are permanent residents by making vacant positions more attractive through a salary bump. While this might sound good in theory, in practice it may not work out so well, because the money needed to accommodate the increased salary will have to come from our customers, which will trigger a significant price increase across the board for our commercial & office cleaning services.
Nobody likes to receive price increase notices, but the up-charge will be a necessary requisite for us to stay afloat.
Reducing immigrants to Australia is like closing off a tap that refills our water bottles
I personally know several educated people, some with university degrees who used to work legally and paid their taxes while in Australia. They wanted to continue working in Australia even if their job lay outside their educational background.
But what happened? They left because there was no way for them to stay here permanently.
Australia lost great people, taxpayers…people who would be buying and selling properties, start amazing businesses, create jobs, etc.
But, our loss is someone else’s gain. The immigrants, who don’t come to Australia, go elsewhere and they help to develop their newly chosen home countries by working and paying taxes. They go shopping, starting with food and essentials and then increasing their spending, for example, by buying vacation packages, businesses, and properties. They cause new companies to be born, which increases the quality and quantity of competition, which at the end of the day, give consumers a wider range of quality products to choose from.
Immigrants buy cars, houses, rent accommodation- imagine how many people and industries benefit from all of that?
And then we say— property prices are coming down, why is it happening? Even people in the government are scratching their heads and saying…Hold on; we need more incoming tax revenue (PAYG taxes, Stamp duties, various levies, etc.)….but at the same time they are looking for ways to hinder the influx of new arrivals. This is simply ridiculous and a self-defeating strategy.
I agree that there is over-development that has happened in Australia’s major cities— but who allowed that to happen? Who received stamp duties when properties planned to be developed into apartment blocks changed hands? Our government did, of course.
And then they complain that we have way too many people and that we need to reduce the number of immigrants drastically.
Immigrants built Australia (and few other countries). We, or our ancestors, all arrived from somewhere— this is life!
I think that the government should start to invest in infrastructure, such as national building projects, around the country.
There are so many projects that can improve the lives of Australians while creating a space inspiring continuous growth.
What comes to mind?
- A fast rail project that starts with a link between Melbourne- Sydney- Brisbane then to extends further.
People don’t have to live in big cities; they can live outside and travel by fast and reliable transport
- Build solar farms
- Create rainwater collection facilities to reduce the stress on our another critical resource
- Build high-quality motorways that are toll-free
- Build cheap and affordable housing for people who work hard
And why not to do a few things like:
If you’d like to get PR faster- go and work on that national building project where government supplies you with required training, food and accommodation and you help to build the country.
Let me know your opinion on these by leaving comments below.