Sunday 22 October 2017

Ireland risks 'feeder nation' future reliant on diaspora

Peter Flanagan

Peter Flanagan

IRELAND is in danger of becoming a "feeder nation" relying on its diaspora sending money home to maintain the economy, says a new report.

Following on from last week's revelation that 87,000 people left Ireland last year, a research note from London hedge fund Toscafund claims this trend is set to continue for the next decade.The fund's chief economist, Savvas Savouri, said: "The departure of Irish nationals as well as those who migrated to the Republic during more favourable economic times will pull down consumption levels and real estate prices.

"The new norm for Ireland and others across Europe will be quite literally living on reduced means and relying on a quite different economic model from their recent pasts," he said.

"Quite different but not, we must add, altogether new. Having not depended on remittances for many decades, Ireland, like Portugal, will come to rely on these once more."

Unwelcome

If the current trend continues, the Irish population could fall to levels not seen since 2004 by the end of this decade.

Mr Savouri goes on to paint a bleak picture of this country's future, describing our export- reliant growth model as "primitive".

"Having seen tourism as a bonus on top of a well-functioning internal economy, Ireland, like Spain, will see this return as fundamental in generating foreign income," he adds.

"Having seen the export of goods -- including agricultural products -- as part of a rather primitive growth model, Ireland, like Greece, will have to return to some significant form of this.

"This economic repositioning will be seen as regressive and unwelcome by many, (but) the reality is that it involves the few options the weaker members of the eurozone have, and Ireland is no exception," Mr Savouri added.

Irish Independent

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