Release: The Future Party rejects changes to the 457 visa conditions

The Future Party, one of Australia’s newest political parties, is calling on the Greens, the Labor Party and the independents to reject the changes to 457 visa conditions, which would require employers to seek Australian residents for positions before applying for 457 visas.

James Jansson, party leader and Senate candidate, said “There is no evidence at all that the program is being exploited at the expense of Australian workers. The Government is attempting to rush through legislation for a problem that isn’t even real, let alone urgent. This is purely about acting tough on migrants for political gain.”

The Government’s own report on 457 visas [1] shows that applications have remained steady at around 6000 applications per month since 2011. The visa grant rates appear to have actually reduced slightly in recent times, with only 5150 applications granted in April 2013. The rule will do little to change employment conditions in Australia. Many of those who obtain 457 visas go on to obtain permanent residency, becoming long-term members of our society.

The Future Party believes that this policy is being introduced and supported as a way to cater to the false[2] notion that immigrants reduce the number of jobs in the economy available to other residents. In fact immigrants, who make up a significant proportion of our population, add value to the community and the economy.

“The 457 visa holders represent exactly the type of person that we want to move to Australia. These are people who want to come to Australia, work hard and pay taxes – taxes we need to plug the deficit and to fund services. We should be doing everything we can to attract more of these types of people, not turn them away.”

“This rule just adds a new level of bureaucracy to the system, increasing costs to both taxpayers and employers – but exceptions in the law mean there will be little actual change to the way 457 visas are used”, said Mr Jansson.

Not all proposed changes are unwelcome. The Future Party supports allowing visa holders who become unemployed for a longer period to find new work. However, the legislation as it stands represents a major step backwards for political attitudes toward migrants.

The Future Party prides itself on its uniquely pro-immigration stance.  

“While the ALP, Coalition and the Greens are all trying to prove how tough they can be towards immigrants, we will continue to celebrate the contributions they make to our nation, and make the case for immigration to the Australian people” said Mr Jansson.

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The Future Party is a new political party which is dedicated to thinking of long term solutions to advance our society. The Future Party believes quality of life is improved primarily through technological developments, sourced through a scientific approach to knowledge in the context of democracy and peace. We see innovation, education and economic reforms as key to the success of Australia.

[1] http://www.immi.gov.au/media/statistics/pdf/457-state-territory-summay-report-apr13.pdf

[2] This falls under an idea called “the lump of labour fallacy” by economists is regularly refuted in the literature – for one example see this study (http://davidcard.berkeley.edu/papers/mariel-impact.pdf)