Watch: 'That's a silly question' – Labour's Andrew Little and Jack Tame spar about effect of immigration policy on GDP

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A question about the impact Labour's immigration policy, which could slash migrants by up to 30,000 people, left Labour leader Andrew Little and TVNZ 1 Breakfast host Jack Tame at a stalemate this morning. 

Labour wants to cut immigration by up to 30,000 people, and Jack wanted to know what effect that may have.
Source: Breakfast

Mr Little was speaking about the policy after National was forced to backtrack on their plans to tighten immigration after an outcry from a variety of migrant-reliant sectors. 

"The problem we've got is that a lot of people coming here are settling in cities, the big cities that are under pressure, cities that don't have enough houses for people that are there at the moment," he said.

Mr Little said there would be "no significant economic impact" of slashing migrant numbers by 30,000, despite Labour having previously put the rise in GDP growth down to New Zealand's net migration of about 70,000 people a year.

Mr Little responded by saying taking international students "out of the equation" would not have a significant impact on the economy or economic growth.

Mr Tame asked what the percentage impact to New Zealand's GDP and GDP growth the removal of 30,000 migrants would have.

"The question is a silly question," Mr Little said. "Just changing immigration alone is not the only thing we're doing."

When pressed on the GDP impact, Mr Little said, "You cannot look at immigration in isolation". 

Mr Little said National's plan to tighten rules on immigration, which may be adjusted, "wouldn't have fixed the problem either". 

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