Monday, March 5, 2012

Understanding the economic background of migrants

Many Asian migrants have a fair amount of personal savings when they come to Australia. Hence they are able to buy cars without getting a bank loan, or buy properties soon after they arrive. Some people view this as being unfair to the locals who have been here for a long time, while others think that as long as you can afford it, the market is fair game.

Here is what I think. The fact that I myself am an Asian migrant does not stop me from feeling that Asian migrants are indeed at an advantage economically when we come to Australia.

The reason is in the different tax rates between the different countries. In Malaysia, for example, the tax rate is much lower than in Australia. During the good old yesteryears, a person in this country would be able to build up his savings  for old age and health care. To him, savings is a necessity because he cannot count on the government to provide age care. The lower tax rate gives people the chance to save.

In Australia, people are taxed heavily from the day they started working. A lot of money is collected and used by the government to provide age care for older people. The high tax rate makes it difficult for young people to save, but they don't need to, as they can count on the government to provide age care. (And yes, we all know that this may change in time to come)

So when a migrant comes into the country, he gets to enjoy the benefits, along with the savings he had built up in his previous home country, without having to first contribute towards it.

(Of course, what is written above is a lot of generalizations. Please take it as food for thought, and not fodder for consternation)

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