Ireland will pay over €3,200 to the EU for every man, woman and child in the country over the next seven years, representing the personal burden of our net national contribution, the Dail heard yesterday.
Ireland will be the fifth highest net contributor in the 27, with a cost to this country of €15.7 billion over the next several years to 2027.
Only Germany, France, the Netherlands and Sweden will make a higher contribution than Ireland… while this country will make the second highest payment per capita, ceding first place to only tiny Luxembourg.
Tipperary Independent Mattie McGrath fumed that Irish citizens would be paying “about twice as much as the Germans and three times as much as every man, woman and child in France, who will pay €780 per person.”
He added: “We are the good boys, who accept everything and nod. For being the good boy in class we don’t even get sweets.”
Donegal Independent Thomas Pringle agreed, saying Ireland was too prepared to roll over. “We are not willing to force our own view. It’s all about what France and Germany and the Frugal Five want.”
Aontú leader Peadar Toibín said it was a ‘disastrous deal’ for Ireland, since the contributions were based on GDP and Ireland had ‘leprechaun’ figures caused by profits from multinationals that would be exported. It would be more reasonable to make the calculation by per capita debt, with Ireland having a huge national overhang in this area.
He said: “Until Ireland cops itself on, we are always going to be tipping the cap, we are always going to be in the halfpenny place in these negotiations.
“But here, if you criticise the European Union, you are treated as some kind of quai-Brexiteer.”
Sinn Féin TD Matt Carty said the Taoiseach had gone to Brussels determined to accept any midterm budget, and it was ‘pathetic’ to hear him attempt to defend a 9 per cent cut in the Common Agricultural Policy budget.
Michael Healy Rae told the debate on the European Council meeting that he had deep worries and concerns about the budget deal on behalf of farmers, fishermen, business people and people dependent on welfare in Kerry and wider Ireland.
Mr McGrath said the Taoiseach had been involved in ‘bluster and bluff’ in presenting the deal, Mr Healy Rae agreed that the Irish people were being deliberately confused and invited to buy ‘a pig in a poke,’ but would not out his name to any agreement he didn’t understand and did not believe it was a good deal for Ireland.
Former MEP turned Independent TD Marian Harkin said transition funds had been cut and she was hugely concerned at the 9 per cent cut to CAP.
But she added that our net contributors to the EU were for such unqualifiable benefits as the single market and free movement of goods, services and people, along with the digital single market and quality standards across a range of vital areas from manufacture to science and food.