Migration, housing in sites of Liberal leader Peter Dutton

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Opposition Leader Peter Dutton has pushed back against criticism of his plan to drastically cut migration, saying the Albanese government’s policy had led to Australians being forced ‘out of homes”.

The Coalition would slash Australia’s permanent migration program to just 140,000 per year, Mr Dutton announced in his budget reply last week, pledging to “restore the Australian dream” of home ownership.

While the country grapples with an acute housing shortage, Mr Dutton on Monday said the government’s plans for migrant intake 1.67 million in the next five years was “bigger than Adelaide”.

“You’ve got a treasurer at the moment who’s willing to sacrifice homes for Australians because he’s got a migration program to prop up the failed budget,” Mr Dutton told reporters in Logan.

“I want to make sure that our migration program works for our country, not against the interests of our country.

“ … that’s exactly what we’ve done in relation to this policy. I want to see young homeowners realise their dream again, not stuck in a rental roundabout.”

Treasurer Jim Chalmers handed down his third federal budget last Tuesday.

Among the measures was a plan to target highly skilled migrants while reducing the total migration intake over coming years, as the government tries to reduce pressure on the stretched housing sector while building out its Future Made in Australia plan.

After a record net overseas migration intake of 528,000 in 2022-23, Treasury is forecasting that figure will decline to 395,000 in 2023-24, before tapering off even further to 260,000 in the coming financial year.

The permanent migration program will be capped at 185,000 places in 2024-25, with 132,200 places allocated to the skill stream to “help address Australia’s long-term skill needs”.

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese on Monday told ABC Mr Dutton had failed to provide meaningful details to support his migration plan.

“He has a vibe, not a policy,” the Prime Minister.

“The so-called announcements that he’s made, when you look at the details … there’s no costings, no understanding about the impact on the economy.”

Read related topics:Peter Dutton

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