Monday, July 26, 2010

Immigration and population

On Crikey's comments section I defended the PM's position of wanting to craft a sustainable population strategy rather than an immigration strategy. It is all too easy to mask a xenophobic response to immigration under the guise of concern with levels.

I typified the distinction as Labor says we need to match immigration intake with our capacity to build supporting infrastructure, while the Liberals say we shouldn't have much immigration because we won't spend on infrastructure.

It transpires I'm wrong, because Tony Abbott and Scott Morrison can't count. Firstly the Oz reports that Tony is misusing statistics to claim that immigration rose to 300,000 under Labor. Secondly they reported that Tony's target number is already higher than the figure already factored in to Treasury's population forecasts.

This is the sort of "what's the GST on a cake" error that can cost a leader all credibility.

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