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Plans for higher charge to immigrants slammed

People migrating to Australia are some of the biggest and most important investors in the likes of property, business and a range of other sectors. With this in mind, plans to charge an increased fee for permanent migrants coming to live in Australia has been slammed by experts. 

The proposal was initially put forward by Liberal Democratic senator David Leyonhjelm, who said that charging people for permanent visas could be a vital way to bring more money into the nation. 

However, a draft report issued by the Productivity Commission said it could not only see an increase in people smuggling and illegal immigration, but could also damage the economy in the long run. 

The commission's report said Australia's immigration system was not well suited to a price-based approach, and added that there could be an increase in the number of people going to illegal lenders to get themselves a loan to pay for a permanent visa. 

"Potential migrants might also obtain loans through informal channels, such as people smuggling organisations," it read.

However, the report did also state that it could remove a number of problems inherent in the migration system at the moment. 

The commission said that the backlog of applications and the time it takes for someone to get a decision on their visa application would be slashed if the government charged people to get a permanent visa. 

Speaking on the issue, Commissioner Paul Lindwall said that the current system for migration works well in Australia, where there is a focus on education and skills in terms of deciding on the success or failure of any application. 

"Most of Australia's immigrants and their children integrate well into the labour market and society as a whole, and become self-reliant citizens," Mr Lindwall said. 

"Additionally the humanitarian intake and programs such as the seasonal worker scheme help Australia to meet its international obligations."

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