The Rudd Government is going to announce its latest budget tonight with an expected deficit of about $60 billion most likely making the biggest headline.
For those looking at making the move down under however, the slashing of a further 7000 places from the general skilled migration intake will be the news that hurts the most!
The cut will take the general skilled migration intake for the next financial year to 108,000.
Added to the decision in March to axe 18,500 places, the total reduction of 25,500 will constitute a 20 per cent cut to the program.
The cuts, the deepest since the previous recession, will proceed despite figures this week showing the unemployment rate fell from 5.7 per cent to 5.4 per cent last month, which translated to an increase of 27,000 jobs.
While the Minister for Immigration Senator Chris Evans has not yet released details of the Australian skilled migration program for the 2009-10 financial year, it can be expected that it would reflect the needs of the recovering Australian economy.
Over the past few years, when the Australian economy was soaring at unprecedented levels, the Australian migration program also reached record levels (133,000 places for skilled migration).
This year, in response to the global economic contraction, Senator Evans had to refine the Australian skilled migration program so that it targeted those migrants with the skills needed most for the growth of the Australian economy, and slash the annual target to 115,000 places.
Nevertheless, if predictions that the Australian skilled migration program would be reduced by a further 7,000 places come to fruition, there will still 108,000 places available for potential skilled migrants to Australia.