Monday 16 December 2019

Ireland contributes more money than it gets to EU for first time

Finance minister Michael Noonan
Finance minister Michael Noonan

Colm Kelpie

Ireland has become a small net contributor to the EU Budget for the first time since it joined the bloc in 1973.

In 2014, the last year for which complete data is available, the country paid €168m more to the EU than it received in grants and payments.

That's according to briefing material provided to Finance Minister Michael Noonan by officials in his department.

The note states that in 2014, Ireland contributed around €1.69bn to the EU Budget, and received €1.52bn in return.

"Ireland has been a significant net beneficiary from the EU Budget since accession in 1973," the briefing material states.

"However, 2014 represented the first time that Ireland was a (small) net contributor."

The vast majority of Irish receipts for 2014, approximately €1.22bn, are direct payments to farmers. Data from the Department shows that even during the boom years, Ireland was a significant net beneficiary from EU funds.

For example, in 2004, net receipts totalled €1.4bn, while in 2006 they slipped to €672m.

Since 1973, Ireland has received over €50bn.

Final data for last year will not become available until the summer.

Irish Independent

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