Recent Immigrants Cost Taxpayers $16B a Year: Fraser Institute

Andy Radia, Yahoo! News, March 16, 2012

The common refrain is that Canada needs immigration to mitigate current and future labour shortages and to help pay the medical bills for our aging population.

The Fraser Institute says hogwash to that. The sometimes controversial right-wing think tank says recent immigrants are actually a huge burden to Canadian taxpayers.

According to its report released Thursday, those who arrived in Canada between 1987 and 2004  received about $6,000 more in government services per immigrant in 2005 than they paid in taxes.

“Immigrants arriving in Canada since 1987 are not doing as well economically as immigrants who arrived before 1987,” said Herbert Grubel, Fraser Institute senior fellow and co-author of the study titled Fiscal Transfers to Immigrants in Canada: Responding to Critics and a Revised Estimate.

“As a result of Canada’s welfare-state policies, our progressive income taxes, and universal social programs, these immigrants impose a huge fiscal burden on Canadian taxpayers of between $16 billion and $23 billion annually.”

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But the Fraser Institute report rejects the notion that we need high levels of immigration—at least not the current levels of around 250,000 people every year. The authors say the demand for immigrants is being driven by the private sector.

“The immigrants keep wages down, which raises their profits and allows them to avoid the need to invest in the training of Canadian-born workers and labour-saving capital and technology,” the authors told Postmedia News.

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Grubel and Grady suggest the solution to our immigration ‘troubles’ is to rely exclusively on applicants holding pre-arranged employment offers. In other words, no family class immigration.

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  • Grubel and Grady suggest the solution to our immigration ‘troubles’ is
    to rely exclusively on applicants holding pre-arranged employment
    offers. In other words, no family class immigration.

    I wouldn’t even agree with that in most cases, unless the prospective immigrant is white.  If you allow this for everyone, (I realize this is Canada, I’m drawing the parallel for illustrative purposes), the the whole Silicon Valley will be in India “pre-arranging” job offers.

  • “The Fraser Institute says hogwash to that. The sometimes controversial right-wing think tank says recent immigrants are actually a huge burden to Canadian taxpayers.”
    ____________

    Amazing how telling the truth is now considered “controversial”.

    • JackKrak

      No liberal and nothing they ever say is “controversial”. Only those who dare to challenge them get slapped with that label.

  • JohnEngelman

    The authors say the demand for immigrants is being driven by the private sector.
    “The immigrants keep wages down, which raises their profits and allows them to avoid the need to invest in the training of Canadian-born workers and labour-saving capital and technology,” the authors told Postmedia News. 
     
    – Andy Radia, Yahoo! News, March 16, 2012   
     
    It is the same situation in this country. The Republican Party has become the party of the white majority. It remains the party for the rich white minority. That is why the high rate of immigration continues, as wages decline and profits grow. 

  • KenelmDigby

    I keeping repeating this point, but it needs to be reiterated as much as possible, since it is the counterpoint to a partcularly stubborn and deep-rooted error, namely that massive uncontrolled immigration is economically ‘beneficial’ (which happens to be the only rational pro-immigration argument).
     I’m afraid the ‘argument’ is simply just not true. Analytical theory is unambiguous on this point (namely the poorly productive lower per capita income).All emprical studies support the common sense theory – but despite that ahuge industry of mercenary ‘learned professors’ and over bought and paid for professional lobbyists incessantly lie and lie and lie.

    • I could never figure out how a non-English speaking” immigrant”, with a 6th grade education and heavily dependent on government for survival could be “beneficial” to anyone, excluding himself and his country of origin of course. I have always said the US is Mexico’s welfare system and increasingly, every other third world citizen who manages to violate our borders.