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‘Anti-immigration is being xenophobic’ - economist

Economist Arthur Grimes has slammed those against immigration, as part of Q+A’s Our Future immigration special.

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As part of Q+A’s Our Future immigration special, Economist Arthur Grimes has slammed those against immigration. Source: Q+A

The economist, senior fellow at Motu Research and professor at Victoria University of Wellington has described peple who hold anti-immigration views as “xenophobic.”

“Anti-immigration is being xenophobic. Most of the people who are strongly anti-immigration are xenophobic.”

“It certainly doesn’t have a negative impact on the labour market and jobs or employment,” he told Q+A host Jack Tame.

However, when questioned whether there were any legitimate economic arguments against immigration, Grimes conceded the one area impacted is house prices.

“If we had a proper decent housing supply through the country, we’d be able to overcome that,” he added.

The professor concluded that while our current average intake is doable, surges - not the level of immigration, are what cause issues.

“It’s when it surges by an extra 50,000 in a year, that’s when housing and infrastructure and things can’t keep up.”

Our Future/Tō tātou anamata is an upcoming series of one hour Q+A specials devoted to a single topic, the first is immigration.

Watch tomorrow from 9am on TVNZ 1 and 1NEWS.co.nz.