Ireland’s ‘Celtic Tiger’ purring again, but at what price
After five years of a global bailout and running austerity, the Celtic Tiger — as Ireland’s economy was once named — is just starting to find its legs.
Growth is forecast going to 2.0 percent from the end of 2014; the country’s debt continues to be cut and interest in Irish exports is increase once again.
Paschal Donohoe, Ireland’s European affairs minister, said a diverse economy that runs from farming to engineering and finance “made sure Ireland had numerous engines of development that pulled it through the difficulties”.
Economists say Ireland’s light-touch method of regulation is type in getting jobs to Irish shores, in addition to a 12.5 percent corporate tax rate.
That’s proven appealing to global companies including Google, Apple and Facebook.
“They come here for several reasons. They come here because Ireland is an English-speaking region, within the eurozone, within the individual market, with excellent levels of training, freedom within the staff, and this also much-talked about element of the low-rate of corporation tax,” said Dan O’Brien, chief economist in the Institute of International and European Matters.
For instance, France includes a regular corporate tax rate of 33 percent.
The federal government was praised as the poster child for EU-IMF-backed austerity, as its spending cut goals were hit by Ireland.
The country left its bailout program in December. But at what cost for ordinary Irish people?
Ireland’s Central Statistics Office estimates at the least 177,000 people between the ages 15 to 24 have gone the nation in the last five years.
Roisin Claim is considering joining them. She’s a masters in literature but is currently considering starting her job from Irish shores.
“I’ve had numerous interviews for numerous writing as well as other issues, and it’s become very obvious that it’s not likely to happen in Ireland. Therefore I’m considering going abroad possibly within the next year, hopefully,” she told euronews.
A lot of her fellow students from her masters course have attended great britain, South Korea, France, and sometimes even Australia.
Others are devoted to remaining, although Roisin says she’s weighing up a possible transfer to Japan. A strategy group “We’re Not Leaving” was put up last summer.
Euronews met among its members, 22-year-old Seamus Farrell.
“I guess that we sort of had communications in the government that teenagers are lazy, young adults don’t work hard enough, they would like to stay in the home plus they are using as excuses for reducing social welfare payments, and never tackling the unemployment situation, but until we begin opposing that, we’re likely to keep getting hit over and over,” he explained.
But with a lot of young adults seeking a better life abroad, this mass exodus appears just set to lower Ireland’s long-term growth prospects.