Interesting. Immigration receipt estimates where massively off the revised number for 2008/09, why?
Under ‘Fees Permits and Licenses’ in the 2009/10 budget is the category ‘Immigration receipts’ which in 2007/08 recorded revenues of approx $11 million. Comparing this against data from the 2005/2006 budget gives us a bit of a trend (2006/2007 was that horrible year with no tabulations, so estimates from 2005/2006 are used). Subsequently we can compare this against non-Bermudian job numbers from the recent employment brief. Doing so gives us an interesting picture.
Note the tremendous spike in Immigration Receipts in 2008/09. Where did this huge jump in receipts come from? Clearly it wasn’t more jobs and instead it turns out that government upped their fees in April 2008.
What is interesting are government’s projections for 2008 which put the original projection of receipts at $18 million which was subsequently revised to $14 million. Let’s look at that chart again using the estimate for 2008 instead of the revised.
Now certainly government did not simply choose a random arbitrary number when they came up with this projection for $18 million did they? Surely they took the number of work permits processed in previous years and used them as a projection as to what to expect in terms of the fees generated under the new fee structure. The fact that the revised number came in $4 million under the original estimate is disturbing. Why was there such a difference? Were there less applications? Were less jobs approved? Was the proposed fee structure higher than the actual one implemented?
As usual we’re left with more questions than answers, however we may have discovered something useful. Immigration receipts, which are announced in the February budget may provide a much earlier indication of what kind of job growth we’re looking at without having to wait all the way to August for the Employment Brief.