Dublin’s IFSC moves North

New laws will be put in place to extend Dublin’s Irish Financial Services Sector across the border. The announcement came following a meeting between Taoiseach-in-waiting Brian Cowen and Northern First Minister-in-wating Peter Robinson.

Under the plan, companies based in the Irish Republic, which are currently suffering skills shortages, will be able to employ undergraduates in satellite operations situated in Northern Ireland – without the risk of the Dublin’s International Financial Services Centre (IFSC) losing its present tax-exempt status. Some might see this as a further example of the development of an all-Ireland economy while others aren’t overly happy with the idea of possibly up to 5,000 Financial Services jobs leaving Dublin. Then there’s the view that such a move is only helping to make Northern Ireland viable and therefore copperfastening partition. One thing is for certain, it’s good news for Belfast. Mr Robinson says it’s win-win for Ireland, north and south.

  • al

    though i was brought up in the dissenting presbyterian tradition now unionist but with 1798 skeltons in the family history; I couldn’t give a rap anymore about constitutional politics. Let’s get this f…ing economy off the ground. Go Peter and Brian, GO!!!!

    And any other influential investors reading this blog please do the same!!

    Though important we do not all want an economy centered on understanding conflict…

  • ulsterfan

    The cynic in me says this has nothing to do with a skills shortage.
    The truth is that the republic are pricing themselves out of the financial services market with huge cost /overheads and with a recession around the corner jobs could easily move to London or Frankfurt two centres which dominate financial services in Europe.
    If it transpires that some jobs move North then they will not be for high earners and will be more like sophisticated call centres.

  • picador

    Hats off to Biffo and Peter Punt!

  • jimmy

    ulsterfan
    That’s exactly how it is; the canny southerners are light years ahead in economics.

    It however very ironic that 10 years ago this type of move would have been seen as part of a foreign hostile takeover and resisted at all costs by the usual suspects.
    Now most of Northern Irelands big companies are registered in Dublin for the lower corporate tax rate.
    Could it be that when the world recession really hits, the poor Northerners will again be the first to lose out is the raison detre of the south’s plans?.

  • Oilifear

    By “undergraduates” I think you mean “graduates”, but thank goodness on many counts.

    1. Dublin is far under far too much pressure

    I took a quick glance through the politics.ie posts and saw a number asking how does Dublin benefit from this. Well the quick answer is that it can take a sigh of relief (albeit a tiny one). No city in the Republic is capable of doing throwing it’s back behind Dublin’s woes. Only Belfast has the weight of population to carry the burden that Dublin has had to carry for far too long (and to the detriment of the rest of the country for too long).

    2. Northern Ireland needs it

    Forget building links between North and south. Forget demonstrating goodwill. Forget the symbolism of the Republic effectively legislating for an IFSC in the North and circumventing the UK central government’s refusal to lower corporation tax (albeit undoubtedly with the blessing of Wesminister). Forget the corporate tax returns running back down south. This is just good for Northern Ireland.

    3. It’s good for the rest of the country

    Cork, Derry, Limerick, Galway and Waterford can now concentrate on what they best released from the immenient threat of brian drain and without having to put on the awful act of having to go through the unsightly motions of pretending that they can play second fiddle to Dublin. The Northern Giant has stepped in and the best micro cities in Europe can now concentrate their minds on remaining the best micro cities in Europe.

    4. It’s good for Irish nationalism

    It demonstrates the practical benefits of an all-Ireland economy. We are better together and we can really work together. The real win will be a genuine all-Ireland labour market – but that is yet a pipe dream.

    5. It’s good for Unionism

    It demonstrates that a dual-jurisdiction Ireland can work, work effectively and is probably better than a unitary jurisdiction Ireland. The Republic can take some benefit from the value of the Pound. The North can take some benefit from the stability of the Euro. Why would anyone want to give up the best of both worlds when they can have their cake and eat it?

    6. It’s good for Ireland

    The lop-sided nature of the Irish economy/human geography – one big city in the east, a scattering of micro cities in the south and west and the bad lands in the north – can now start looking a more choicey. We, if it is now appropriate to start saying “we”, can now boast, a big city, and large city and micro cities working in harmony. This is a great looking picture and one that’s easy to sell. And to put the icing on the cake, we can even boast that in times of the turbulence in the interational markets, we can exploit it for our own (and our customers’) benefit. It’s a great package.

  • Myles Long

    Hats off to Biffo and Peter Punt!

    Posted by picador on Apr 14, 2008 @ 07:22 PM

    Biffo (Offaly) and Biffa (Antrim)??

  • Comrade Stalin

    I agree completely with both Oilifear and the Punt. This is not a political announcement; it’s plain old fashioned good business, as it allows Belfast to expand and also allows the Irish financial services industry to remain competitive.

    This announcement is worth more than the New York announcement 100 times over; this is Belfast getting it’s chance to partner with a major European financial centre pretty much for free without any of the initial startup pain/risk. Now it’s up to the people here to show that they’re up to the task.

    An excellent step forward, I’m surprised we’re not hearing about it, but I guess that’s because it doesn’t have a New York mayoral campaign behind it.

  • tootiredtoargue

    The IFSC development is just another inevitable step in the economic unification of Ireland (or more accurately the Southern economic takeover of the North.)

    The South now controls our food and agriculture and increasingly the building sector. Cowen is now contributing to the planning of our infrastructure as well as paying for some of it.

    A Southern firm owns most of our gas network. the ESB has a big power station in Derry. O’Reilly owns the Belfast Telegraph. Aer Lingus is going to dominate our airline sector. Farrans is part of Dublin building firm CRH. Our biggest development, Titanic quarter is wholly owned by a Dublin developer.

    Even Ulster Bank is now run from Dublin!

    With the strength of the EURO right now acquisitions in NI must look very cheap from Dublin – although there really isn’t much left here to mop up.

    Gordon Brown has told us to get lost on tax reform – so we won’t be able to compete with Dublin for investment – perhaps ever.

    But why fight it?

    Good luck to Nigel Dodds and his conference next month!

  • New Yorker

    This is an important development. I agree with Oilifear on the many benefits. I also agree in business all-Ireland is the best way as the international business world sees Ireland, North and South, as one economic unit. The issue of part of the UK or the Republic is superfluous and unhelpful in improving the economics in NI. It seems that Cowen and Robinson are off to an excellent start with this pragmatic mutually beneficial business agreement. Cowen and Robinson deserve congratulations.

  • New Yorker

    Comrade Stalin

    You are absolutely right that this is much more important than the New York announcement. This is reality, the NY thing was an excuse for a news announcement. Attracting business to NI should be done on an all-Ireland basis. That’s the way international business sees Ireland and you greatly enlarge the benefits you can offer inward investors. Who came up with the idea of a NI only inward investment strategy? Was it really to keep Paisley and McGuinness out of the way so the pragmatic realists could get to work?

    tootiredtoargue

    While you are stuck in ‘themms vs usuns’ smarter people will see the benefits of cooperation over competition between the Republic and NI.

  • Elvis parker

    ‘The South now controls our food and agriculture’ actually both are largely controlled by the UK supermarket industry.

    ‘Cowen is now contributing to the planning of our infrastructure as well as paying for some of it.’
    Actually he’s paying for the bits that benefit his voters in Republic – chiefly Donegal

    ‘A Southern firm owns most of our gas network.’
    Not sure what you are on about – both NI and RoI are major importers of British gas.

    ‘the ESB has a big power station in Derry.’
    Thank God they are state owned – the Directors would have been sacked years ago for that mistake.

    ‘O’Reilly owns the Belfast Telegraph.’
    He does at the moment – anyhow isnt he a lacky of British imperialism?

    ‘Aer Lingus is going to dominate our airline sector.’
    No it isnt. Easyjet is and will

    ‘Even Ulster Bank is now run from Dublin!’
    On paper maybe but all the important work has been relocated to Edinburgh (RBS HQ)

    Never let the truth get in the mind of a closed mind!

  • LURIG

    The way things are going AND with the stadium debate still raging it’s only a matter of time before Casement Park hosts Irish Cup finals & Norn Iron internationals. The Glens & Blues walking out behind the Artane Boys Band and President McAleese taking the salute before Connswater Cock & Hens AND Sandy Row True Blues supporters clubs. Ger Canning on commentary with Pat Spillane & Joe Brolly in the studio. “A lovely handpass there from Webster to Sloan”. Lets face it economic unity is almost total & with Fianna Fail about to appear on Northern ballot forms the political unification of the island is but a mere formality. It is happening while we sleep but as long as pay packets still appear on a Friday & people have their home comforts I don’t think many will lose sleep. Middle class Unionist kids already go to Southern universities while North Down owns a fair proportion of Donegal holiday homes so the ‘national identity’ question is increasingly irrelevant. The only negative pockets will be the inner city loyalist enclaves & Bible belt fundamentalists but mainstream Unionist political leaders & both governments have already shown that these elements DON’T count at all. If the Orange Order can lose Drumcree political unity is a walk in the park. As Sinn Fein have already demonstrated principles & core beliefs can be sacrificed in the frenzy for power & ministerial office; Unionists are now following. If the UDA & UVF start to rattle their magazines about unity sure the NIO can always throw a few ‘Community Worker’ posts and ‘ex-prisoner’ funding their way. The smell of the dollar works wonders & spells that Harry Potter can only dream of. Sure it HAS worked before as the Belfast interfaces have been quiet for a while. They ONLY stir when the Government dough runs out & the Uncle Andys’ and Seamies’ beer money dries up.

  • DC

    “Why would anyone want to give up the best of both worlds when they can have their cake and eat it?”

    Northern Ireland will truly be reformed when it can become greater than the sum of its so-called parts.

    Peter Punt, another adventure into centrism. What better than a reformed Union, when politics nowadays offers the people of Northern Ireland the democratic opportunity of a working role in the Oireachtas – Dublin, Westminster – London, and refining it all in Stormont locally. That’s progress, especially it being backed with EU free movement of people with new political ideas too.

    I don’t know if it can be viewed as Unionism though, Punt did say that this North-Southery was a one-way ticket to a bridge that once crossed was dire to Unionist interests. Punt seems to be eating his words alot these days, even moreso than his political master. But of course bridges can be crossed over in both directions, can Unionism manage the traffic to suit its own longstanding interests, capable as being sold under a Unionist political brand?

  • aquifer

    And just as the Dublin traffic was about to set solid, some of that low tax low euro interest stardust gets sprinkled on Belfast, while the City of London decides it has a surplus of financiers. This double act could run and run.

  • The Raven

    George wrote: “it’s good for Belfast”

    Yeah…I’m sure it is…although does that mean none of the jobs will be passed on to the rest of the region…? Go figure. You’d nearly think there was no regional economic planning up here…

    LURIG wrote: “Middle class Unionist kids already go to Southern universities”….

    Really? I didn’t realise that was a trend…I thought they mostly left Province for Mainland, and didn’t return…

    “….while North Down owns a fair proportion of Donegal holiday homes….”

    Gosh…when did Gerry and Marty take over from Sylvia…?

    He also wrote: “Sure it HAS worked before as the Belfast interfaces have been quiet for a while.”

    And you have figures to back up how money from America (TM) has kept the drinking classes quiet…? This is the sort of sterotyping that frankly makes me want to puke over people who deign to cast aspersions from their ivory towers. But I digress…

    Tootiredtoargue wrote: “Good luck to Nigel Dodds and his conference next month!”

    That’ll be the conference then, with lots of people from America coming to play golf, but not spend any money as they are slipping into recession…? As one INI rep said to me only last week, “it’s a last hurrah in the public eye.”

    Elvis Parker wrote: a lot of stuff that actually approximates how it is, as opposed to a rattling good yarn from tootired. Oh and by the way…the Irish construction sector north and south is run from Dungiven…as any fule kno.

    Jobs is jobs – good news all round.

    Heck, Doddsy is such a pro-economy champion, he even went as far as to cancel the grant from the start a business programme, so long the jewel in INI’s local economic development crown. As I said…go figure (as opposed to “Go For It”)

  • Gregory

    Didn’t Devalera offer some bloodstock grants to race courses in the north only to be told (by Unionists) to stuff it up his whatever?

    Description Medal card of Hitzen, Edo John
    Corps Regiment No Rank
    Lincolnshire Regiment Captain

    Date 1914-1920
    Catalogue reference WO 372/9
    Dept Records created or inherited by the War Office, Armed Forces, Judge Advocate General, and related bodies
    Series War Office: Service Medal and Award Rolls Index, First World War
    Piece Hampton E – Holland D
    Image contains 1 medal card of many for this collection

    A bit of history for three quid fifty, that fella captured DevAlera and (??) the 1916 flag.

  • DC

    “As one INI rep said to me only last week, “it’s a last hurrah in the public eye.””

    And that is why, if true, INI suffers from a subaltern pysche that is blighted with a sense of bureaucratic negativism. In a similar way, if the peace process was left to the NIO fuck all would have happened.

    It isn’t all one-way, Eircom tied up a contract for, I think, a back office telecommunications project linked to wider IT reform withun the NI Civil Service.

  • heck

    george

    you said this was good for Belfast. Would’nt somewhere like Newry be the ideal place? I have relatives who commute from South Armagh to Dublin to work so the distance is manageable.

    There are good motorway connections to Dublin and if something can be done to connect directly into the free state’s communications infrastructure-(land line and wireless) then that would be a plus.

  • Myles Long

    So filthy lucre unites us all??

  • New Yorker

    heck

    Newry is not large enough. In addition to not having enough potential workers, it does not have a university, an airport, enough hotels, restaurants, theaters, luxury shops, etc.

    Although the motorway is good, the better mode of transport would be an excellent train service between Dublin and Belfast. One that is fast (2 hours or less), frequent (hourly) and reliable. That’s something that should be immediately addressed and used as an attraction to firms considering business in both cities. I suspect several companies will be looking into this in preparation for coming out of the present difficulties. How is Northern Ireland doing on this?

  • willowfield

    Forgive my ignorance, please, but could someone explain to me how this will work?

    Will these “satellite operations”, located in NI, not be subject to corporation tax in NI, and hence they will be relocating to a higher-tax economy? If so, the benefit to the companies is not continued low corporation tax, but access to labour.

    Why does there need to be a change in the law in the South for these companies to open up “satellites” in NI?

    Thanks.

  • Seeing through the spin

    Sorry to throw a wet blanket on the party but, not so long ago, a salary survey undertaken by Invest NI, the economic body responsible inward investment into the North revealed that salaries in the IT sector between Dublin and Belfast differ on average by approximately 27%.

    Salaries in Belfast are the lowest amongst cities surveyed in the UK, Europe, the US and Canada. Only Bangalore in India, Budapest and Prague have lower salary levels.

    The most significant Belfast-Dublin gap was identified in salary comparisons between junior programmers. On average, a junior programmer in Belfast earns €26,005 with a junior programmer in Dublin earning €44,014, a differential of 69%. A junior programmer in London can earn as much as €47,065 or 81% more than a junior programmer in Belfast.

    In addition a senior programmer in Dublin earns on average €66,515 while a senior programmer in Belfast earns €51,517. A starting salary is approximately €23,892 in Belfast and €32,617 in Dublin, a differential of 37%.

    Amongst more senior positions surveyed, the differential while less dramatic is still significant, with the Head of IT in Dublin earning 18% (€107,253) more than the Head of IT in Belfast (€91,251). The Head of IT in London earns approximately €112,630.

    The salary survey, produced by Watson Wyatt on behalf of Invest NI, was the first of its type by Watson Wyatt to compare salaries in Belfast with other major cities in the US and Europe and overall indicates significantly lower employer costs for Belfast than most European countries surveyed.

    Commenting on the results of the survey, Trevor Killen, Director, Invest NI, Ireland said, “The findings of this survey are evidence that employer costs are significantly lower in Belfast than Dublin, London or the majority of EU countries.”

    Even UTV’s Jamie DeLargey conceded on last nights news that the proposed jobs would likely to be mainly at lower-end levels.

  • George

    Willowfield,
    Will these “satellite operations”, located in NI, not be subject to corporation tax in NI, and hence they will be relocating to a higher-tax economy?

    Apparently not, the financial services companies will continue to pay corporation tax in the Irish Republic on jobs based in sub-offices north of the border. The workers will pay income tax to the British exchequer.

    Why does there need to be a change in the law in the South for these companies to open up “satellites” in NI?

    Details are thin on the ground but I assume it is something to do with the Revenue Commissioners extending the special exemption status the IFSC has to sub-offices outside the jurisdiction as long as they meet certain criteria. Open to correction on that one.

  • pacman

    “Newry is not large enough. In addition to not having enough potential workers, it does not have a university, an airport, enough hotels, restaurants, theaters, luxury shops, etc.”

    Hmmm, I wonder why? So essentially, decades of under-investment should now be used as the excuse to not invest again? In addition to not having enough potential workers (if you build it, we will come), I would dispute the better mode of transport but if rail is best then Newry is better placed than Belfast and in the process of getting a new station.

    Time for some to think outside the (Belfast) box and spread the jobs around. There are enough people from Newry clogging the roads to Belfast day and daily that would relish the chance to work locally.

  • Seeing through the spin

    Sorry, I forgot to add, given Jamie Delargey’s comments, that the “new” jobs are likely to be reflective of Belfast pay levels rather than those enjoyed by their Dublin counterparts

  • willowfield

    George

    Thanks for your reply.

    Apparently not, the financial services companies will continue to pay corporation tax in the Irish Republic on jobs based in sub-offices north of the border.

    Is that normal? I guess so: I guess the Northern Bank, for example, doesn’t pay corporation tax in the Republic despite having some branches there … or does it?

    Details are thin on the ground but I assume it is something to do with the Revenue Commissioners extending the special exemption status the IFSC has to sub-offices outside the jurisdiction as long as they meet certain criteria. Open to correction on that one.

    I guess that makes sense.

  • Steve

    in terms of cost savings it would obviously be far cheaper to relocate small satelite offices to small towns surrounding Belfast such as Antrim or Templepatrick. A short commute from the city with lower intitial costs such as offices and lower salary expectations. Since most of their work would be done over the internet the necesity of centralization is non-exiztant

    Also assuming that smaller processing facilities are the most likely to be moved north of the border it would not be necesary for large populations to accesable but simply a skilled work force.

  • Billy Pilgrim

    Fair point about Newry having a good shout as the location for the new financial services centre.

    The counties of Down, Armagh, Louth and Monaghan (that would be the hinterland of a Newry-based centre) have a combined population of around 820,000 – Belfast has metropolitan population of 579k, while Antrim, Down and north Armagh totals around 1,110,000.

    Also, hasn’t Dundalk-Newry already been earmarked by planners as the next major urban development on the island? Siting a financial services sector in Newry would be a great boost to that plan – it would also require major infrastructural links not only from Belfast and Dublin (already largely in place) but also from:

    northwest (mid and northwest Armagh, Dungannon and beyond)

    west (through south Armagh to Monaghan)

    southwest (through west Louth and southern Monaghan to Meath)

    east (through the Mournes to Newcastle and Downpatrick)

    southeast (extending the excellent link to Warrenpoint on to Kilkeel)

    As regards an airport, you can get from Dublin airport or Aldergrove to the centre of Newry quicker than you can get from Heathrow to Picadilly.

    A boost in the numbers of well-paid professionals in the area would also actually help out tourism (that great chimera, beloved and regarded as the panacea by those without a genuine economic strategy) in an area with genuine potential.

    The Mournes, the southern and eastern Down cost, east Louth, south Armagh, Armagh city – these are areas of staggering natural beauty, but tourists also expect nice places to stay, to eat and drink. With a few notable exceptions, amateurism, time-warped attitudes and facilities, and sheer laziness are the norm in our hospitality sector. Tourists won’t stand for such poor performance, no matter how pretty the scenery.

    Sorry, ranting now…

  • John East Belfast

    willowfield

    It is the whole concept of a Profit or a Cost centre which often gets ignored in this whole debate about levelling CT rates north and south.

    ie you only get charged UK CT on profits earned by value added in a UK jurisdiction and then ‘sold’ on either to a third party or another Group Company.

    However if the Belfast office of one of these financial institutions is simply a back office operation with the main contracts and customer dealings and ultimately sale occuring in the ROI then it is not relevant or is very insignificant.

    ie In the EU there is no need for an ROI based company to set up a subsidiary in NI at all – there is no difference between a back office down the corridor in Dublin and one 100 miles up the road in Belfast.
    Yes the employees pay UK Income tax and NIC and the employer pays UK NIC but that is the extent of the tax liabilities.

    ie in using NI as a cost centre rather than a profit centre then ROI companies can have the best of both worlds – ie ROI CT and at the same time tapping into NI cheaper labour and cheaper rentals.

    The whole one CT rate is largely about ROI corporates with major profit centres in NI – Belfast Telegraph, BOI, Ryanair etc – wanting to pay one low rate of tax throughout the island.

    – no conicidence that the Belfast Tele leads the charge in that debate supported by BOI economists etc.

  • George

    Willowfield,
    Brian Cowen says that no new legislation will be necessary.

    http://www.ireland.com/newspaper/frontpage/2008/0415/1208208529397.html

  • Oilifear

    Willowfield, corporation tax is paid on profits. Through clever accountancy the “profits” of the Belfast operation can be back channelled to Dublin where they will be taxed at RoI rates.

    DC,

    “… this North-Southery was a one-way ticket to a bridge that once crossed was dire to Unionist interests. Punt seems to be eating his words alot these days … can Unionism manage the traffic to suit its own longstanding interests, capable as being sold under a Unionist political brand?”

    What are the “longstanding interests” of Unionism? Pick any point between 1801 and now and the interests of Unionists appear to different. Maybe the trick is that beneath the surface it’s never really about “unionism” per se but more anout the interest of “Unionists”.

    I think this deal is in the interest of Unionists. Whether it is in the interest of the union is a different matter all together.

  • ulsterfan

    I suppose Fair Employment Legislation will apply.
    If the centre is based in Newry not many Prods/Unionists may be interested.
    The Shankill is crying out for investment!!!!!

  • New Yorker

    When trying to attract companies to move business to your country/province, you show the best location for that company to conduct its business, and in NI that location is Belfast. This is about making a sale not community development or locating jobs closer to some place workers find it convenient to commute to. Following this development by the two governments, the key decisions will be made by corporate executives.

    From central Dublin to central Belfast the train is better than driving a car, if the train service is of high quality. Last time I was there, only a few trains per day, some were more than 20 minutes late and it took well over two hours. If it is still that way, it needs to be fixed pronto.

  • Comrade Stalin

    Seeing through the spin :

    Sorry, I forgot to add, given Jamie Delargey’s comments, that the “new” jobs are likely to be reflective of Belfast pay levels rather than those enjoyed by their Dublin counterparts

    And your problem is ?

    If we were to impose a requirement of wage parity with Dublin, the jobs would not be coming here in the first place. Would you rather the jobs not come here ?

    The road to prosperity and high wages comes from people starting off by doing donkey work. They’re not going to cream off their best jobs and just give them to us. They’re not going to pay us full salaries when the market will bear salaries that are much lower.

    New Yorker,

    I can drive door to door from Belfast to Dublin in about 1hr45. If I were to use the train, you can add an extra hour onto that. The Enterprise service is pitiful.

  • New Yorker

    Comrade Stalin

    Drive time versus train time is a problem in attracting firms to Belfast that already have offices in Dublin. Even Yanks would expect a good train service between the two major cities. As I say, it should be fixed pronto.

  • Bob Wilson

    John East Bel:
    ‘- no conicidence that the Belfast Tele leads the charge in that debate supported by BOI economists etc’
    Yes – even though 96% of business pay the 19% rate(sorry just raised by Gordon to 21%)
    The ‘Big company’ rate has just been cut from 30 to 28%.
    Tele didnt even mention this

  • Crataegus

    John East Belfast

    using NI as a cost centre rather than a profit centre then ROI companies can have the best of both worlds – ie ROI CT and at the same time tapping into NI cheaper labour and cheaper rentals.

    It is common enough practice and can be rightly abused!

    This is good news for the North. The Euro rose to 81p yesterday, inflation held at 2.5% last month and with lower costs generally we may do well out of businesses exploiting the advantages either side of the border.

  • DK

    I’m not sure if there is something else behind this story. I occassionnally work at the IFSC and people there are telling me that a lot of companies are moving out. Perhaps this is a smart move on Cowans part to cover up bad news on job losses?

  • mnob

    How come nobody is talking about the elephants in the room ? The concensus on this thread is actually quite disturbing.

    Where are the voices of dissent ?
    Where even are the devil’s advocates ?

    What happened to this place ? lol

    OK I’ll bite.

    This is a purely political announcement that will have no impact on reality at all.

    The biggest elephant is the fact that we are in the teeth of a financial crisis. How deep that crisis will be we dont know. All we know at the minute is that its not over yet. In the face of such uncertaintiy companies dont set up extra offices (even if they can cut the cost base). They do the opposite.

    Next is the fact that Northern Ireland has a lower unemployment rate than ROI. Where are the people to come from to work in these new jobs ? If they are from other EU states then why would a multinational set up in Belfast to employ economic migrants when they can set up cheaper in the country the migrants are coming from in the first place. If they are to be attracted from existing employment then salaries will have to rise.

    Finally – how long is the ROIs advantageous tax system going to last. This from the FT :

    “The UK Inland Revenue has challenged companies’ moves to set up operations in Ireland. Two years ago, it lost a case against Cadbury Schweppes (LSE: CBRY.L – news) , which established a treasury operation in Dublin’s international financial services centre.

    European officials are concerned Ireland’s low corporate tax rates give it an unfair advantage. A few years ago, the Danish authorities protested when Boston Scientific (NYSE: BSX – news) , a medical devices company, moved from Denmark to Ireland.

    Pressure is mounting on the Irish to bring its tax treatment of companies more in line with the big European economies. Only last week Christine Lagarde, the French finance minister, said France would use its upcoming European Union presidency to push for a common method of computing corporate taxes across member states.

    Irish officials are concerned this is a stepping stone to harmonisation.”

  • George

    mnob,
    Finally – how long is the ROIs advantageous tax system going to last.

    Considering Shire, the UK’s third biggest pharmaceutical firm moved its tax base from the UK to Ireland this week, the question that is being asked is how long is the UK’s disadvantageous tax system going to last.

    This from Richard Lambert, director-general of the CBI British industry group:

    “We are particularly worried that an uncompetitive corporate tax system is spoiling the UK’s attractiveness as a place to do business, and that other internationally mobile firms will follow Shire’s path.”

    As for “European officials” being concerned, Ireland has a perpetual veto over its tax rates so it is for the Republic to give it away regardless of what the French or anyone else says.

  • Frustrated Democrat

    Jobs what jobs?

    All the banks are firing not hiring.

    May have been a ruuner when they first thought about it – now?

  • Gregory

    “As regards an airport, you can get from Dublin airport or Aldergrove to the centre of Newry quicker than you can get from Heathrow to Picadilly. ”

    Well when I ran a record company in Leicester Square, I’d walk to the Criterion for a thirty quid stuffed pepper, I mean, who would want to drive to Picadilly Circus?

    More importantly, who in their right mind would want to work in Newry, I wouldn’t do it for a 100K, not if I can get a 100K in Singapore, Frankfurt, Wapping or New York?

    Dublin has one advantage, it is doable.

    G.