Tuesday 10 December 2019

Ups and downs abound but foreign investment is keeping us afloat

Sarah Stack

FOREIGN direct investment brought more than 13,000 new jobs to Ireland last year, but just a slight scratch beneath the surface reveals more.

While we filled plenty of posts, we also lost some - almost 6,300 in fact. So while the big all singing and dancing fanfare didn't quite turn in to The Last Post, it definitely dampened some spirits. In total we had 7,071 net jobs, just a small step up from the 6,570 created in 2012.

However multinationals still kept 161,112 people in direct employment.

Their jobs and wages supporting local economies across some of the most rural parts of Ireland.

It is estimated that for every 10 jobs provided by FDI, another seven indirect jobs are generated for the Irish economy.

The Government's foreign investment agency, the IDA, was eager to shout about its "buoyant performance" in the first-half of the year, with a growing number of new greenfield investments, expansions and transformations by existing companies.


It maintains it has secured over 100 investments in the first six months of 2014, compared to 70 at the same time last year, with 8,000 jobs set to be created 
from those talks alone in the coming years as investment plan are rolled out.

But what about the cuts?

Just last month employees at the Waterford Bausch and Lomb plant agreed to an €18.5m cost-cutting deal which will see up to 200 redundancies along with pay cuts, bonus cuts and a new lower pay grade.

The effects of these will be felt across the city and county. At the same time the company plans to invest what is believed to be a €6m upgrade.

While the majority of US firms setting up shop here have created jobs, boosting our income tax returns, others have been criticised for 
controversial moves across the Atlantic.

Ireland's low-cost tax regime was again criticised this week after a new report showed that over the past two decades dozens of US corporations have moved their legal addresses to overseas locations - including Ireland.

The Congressional Research Service found 76 shifted tax domiciles to foreign addresses since 1983, including 47 in the last ten years,

Democratic congressman Sander Levin posted the report online as part of his drive for new legislation to be 
passed as he steps up his attempts to make it more 
difficult for US companies to shift their headquarters overseas to reduce American tax bills.

Irish Independent

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