Govt rejects research backing immigration cut

The debate of immigrant workers willing to work for lesser pay than Australian workers is sure to become an increasingly hot topic. As this recent article indicated:

Minimum wage: Anxious workers offer skills for $4 an hour

AUSTRALIANS are offering their skills for as little as $4 an hour on websites that let them compete against each other for work in an eBay-like bidding system.

Workers anxious to secure work during the global economic downturn are turning to websites such as Elance and iFreelance, where the lowest wage gets the gig.

So, how will the federal government’s rejection of research supporting claims that this will, indeed, become increasingly the case, play out with unions, workers and their families, many of which are carrying large personal debts (something I continually point out as a major sticking point for our economy in general)?

Govt rejects research backing immigration cut

The federal government has rejected research which shows its $42 billion economic stimulus package will not save jobs unless Australia’s immigration intake is slashed.

In a paper to be released on Friday, demographic experts warn that new permanent and temporary migrant workers will soak up the 90,000 jobs the package is supposed to support.

That is because the immigration intake will exceed the number of jobs the commonwealth was trying to protect, The Australian Financial Review reports.

The experts advocate cutting the skilled intake to between 40,000 and 50,000 visas – down from a projected 133,500 – and forcing employers who want to import staff to prove that local skills are not available.

“It seems to me that this research could not be right,” federal Employment Minister Julia Gillard told ABC Television.

“We are expediting the immigration of people who have the skills that we need.”

This research and its recommendations make sense to me simply because of the economic climate at present and for the foreseeable future.

Over To You

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Frolykz!

Welcome to Friday Frolykz!

Our Weekend thread where anything goes. Speaking of threads, I’m wearing one of my new linen suits, with a pair of new black brogues. Brogues may not be in fashion, but who cares.

We’ve had quite a few new people join us in recent weeks, so welcome one and all. Feel free to write to us if you have any comments or suggestions.

Books. I’ve been reading some Janet Evanovich novels recently. They’re hilarious. Not in the acerbic self-depracating style of Sedaris but good yarns nevertheless.

So what’s on for this weekend? Rumour has it that joni’s still trying to put the pieces back together after Mardi Gras weekend, but that’s another story.

This week’s music is for me, cos it’s one of my favourites at the moment.

Criticisms of the CPRS and calls for a carbon tax

The following editorial is a guest post from regular blogocrat Dave55

There has been some reporting over the past few days and much political to-ing and fro-ing over the relative merits of the Government’s proposed Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme.

A group of 10 economists including John Quiggan spoke out yesterday criticising the CPRS. The Statement called for three main improvements to the CPRS and, unless these improvements are introduced, then the Government should consider a carbon tax as a matter of urgency.

The improvements demanded were:
*Lifting the targets to 25-40% by 2020 based on the latest scientific evidence
* Abolishing the free permits granted to the biggest polluters
* Ensuring that individual action results in lower emissions, not lower carbon prices

Continue reading

Victorian Bushfires stir compassion and conflict

Cross post for Global Voices: Victorian Bushfires stir compassion and conflict

The grim toll of the Victorian bushfires now has 201 confirmed deaths, including a volunteer firefighter, and 1834 homes destroyed. There have been moving, controversial, bizarre and even innovative responses in the blogosphere to the tragedy.

Kevin Rudd, the Australian Prime Minister, reflected popular reaction to news that some of the fires were deliberately lit by talking of “mass murder”. Following the charging of one man with arson causing death, Facebook groups emerged that published his address and other details that had been suppressed by court order. These have apparently now been removed by Facebook. One group has this message:

Brendan Sokaluk, you will pay. you will be found out. and you will suffer. and when that day comes, Australia will have another Public Holiday to celebrate.

BRENDAN SOKALUK, THE VICTORIAN BUSHFIRES ARSONIST WILL BURN IN HELL.

These pages have stimulated an intense debate about issues such as the right to a fair trial. Some even fear that the lynch mob mentality and surrounding publicity may hinder the chances of a conviction. A warning: much of the comment on these sites is very disturbing for a whole range of reasons.

More

Kevin Rennie

Howard Comes Out Fighting as His Legacy Comes Under Threat

Rudd articulates his ideology on why he believes the current crisis has occurred (don’t mention neo-liberalism) and after bitter disputes among the coalition, JWH, has come out fighting.  Entertaining stuff.

John Howard: Five great reforms an essential legacy.

  • John Howard
  • February 20, 2009

The legacy of the former Liberal government is one that we should all want to own. Australia was a stronger, prouder and more prosperous nation in November 2007 than it had been in March 1996. Yet attempts have been made to discount the contributions of competitive capitalism and more open markets to the remarkable economic growth, in many nations, during these past 30 years.

This is one article I have no problem not posting in its entirety.  A bloody good laugh though. It smacks of desperation.