Thursday 14 December 2017

Martina Devlin: We must tread carefully selling residency for jobs

I suspect Alan Shatter unwinds at night in front of a boxed set of the 'Blackadder' series because there's a definite hint of "I have a cunning plan" in his latest proposal. It's a scheme to award residency rights to foreign entrepreneurs and investors, in return for creating or saving jobs in Ireland.

On the face of it, as a cash-strapped country we must shake our money-maker wherever a market exists. But the figures associated with this Cabinet-backed suggestion bring the hapless Baldrick to mind.

Mr Shatter prices a two-year term of residency, reviewable for extension, at €75,000 if an applicant has an approved start-up business idea in the innovation line. And €500,000 could open doors for an immigrant investor.

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