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Exodus to Australia doubles

Hon Lockwood Smith National Party Immigration Spokesman

3 March 2006

Exodus to Australia doubles

National's Immigration spokesman, Lockwood Smith, says net outflow of people to Australia has more than doubled in the past three years.

He is commenting on yesterday's release of the latest external immigration figures.

"For the year ending January 2004, New Zealand lost a net 10,221 people to Australia. In 2005 that increased to 15,547, and in the past 12 months (to the end of January), that figure has leapt to 21,439. "

Dr Smith says we shouldn't be surprised by the trend. The difference in after tax income is growing rapidly.

"New Zealanders' after-tax incomes are now 33% lower than in Australia. That gap is up from 20% six years ago.

"International research shows that skilled people are mobile and are moving to places where they feel they can get ahead better. In America, people are moving to low tax states in their hundreds of thousands and, with Australia progressively lowering taxes, New Zealand is going to look less and less attractive.

"Dr Cullen's resistance to lower income tax rates will only make this trend worse.

"In the past three years permanent arrivals from Australia have stayed pretty steady at about 14,000 a year. What's changed hugely has been the exodus of people across the Tasman," says Dr Smith.


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