How Ireland shifted from rapid immigration to full-on recession…

Just picked this report up on the massive fluctuation in the migration flows over the last fifteen years or so; and the changing nature of Irish citizenship to keep up with those changes… It includes data which show the recession’s impact: immigration flows decreased 23 percent from 2007 to 2008 while emigration increased to levels not seen since the early 1990s. In particular, flows from Eastern Europe have dropped to about 40 percent of all inflows, compared to 48 percent in 2007. The article also traces the evolution of laws governing citizenship, eligibility for asylum, and the work permit system from the 1990s until today.

, , ,

  • While not blaming the immigrants themselves, I am of the view that the policy of opening the labour market to the Accession states played a substantial role in the housing-bubble, as did unduly cheap credit from the European Central Bank. It’s lunacy to foist 2-5% interest rates on an economy growing at 5-11% per annum. Any monetarist will tell you that. When inflation was close to 1% in 1999, we had interest rates at 10% but the economy still grew at those rates.

    We were led by the political-elite to believe that immigration was necessary for economic growth. Yet when this is over, we’re likely to be back to 2002 levels, around 100% of GNP rather than 114% at the height of the boom. Kindof makes you wonder what was the point of opening our labour markets to Eastern Europe. Oh hold on – that’s right – cheap labour for the friends of Fianna Fáil.

  • Interesting nuggets of information from today’s CSO National Quarterly Household Survey:

    Apparently, native Irish emigration and native Irish immigration cancel each other out exactly, at 18,400. But overall there is net emigration because 7,800 more foreign-nationals have left in the year up to April than immigrated into Ireland (38,900 immigrants and 46,700 emigrants.).

  • Oranges for Sale

    We were spun all sorts of lies about the benefits of immigration. The truth is that most immigrates simply see Ireland as an alternative to England in terms of economic exploitation (usually referred to as ‘making a better life for themselves’). The simple truth is that for every eastern European or African foreign national wearing a high visibility jacket, pair of overalls or uniform there is, somewhere, an unemployed Irish person as a result (forget about the myth of lazy local people unwilling to work).

    No matter what the bleeding heart liberals who regularly make use of Slugger say in response to this post, the fact is that local people will soon become much more resentful of this unwelcome foreign competition for Irish jobs.

  • Another telltale sign is the huge increase in emigration to the 12 Accession states – up from 9,000 last year to 22,000.

  • OC

    “the policy of opening the labour market to the Accession states played a substantial role in the housing-bubble”

    Here in the States, this was accomplished by using mostly illegal aliens.

    And whilst an important lynchpin, I fault greatly the ratings agencies (Moody’s et al) for giving higher grades to securitised debt obligations based on mortgages than they deserved.

    If the ratings agencies had done their jobs, these SDO’s would have been downgraded perhaps as early as 2006 or even before, and then Adam Smith’s “invisible hand of the marketplace” would have put the brakes on the then-manageable and much smaller “housing bubble”.

    My question is, did the ratings agencies merely fall asleep at the wheel, or did something more sinister transpire?

  • Carnhill

    Being originally from the north, but now living in the South for the last 7 years I can only see the mass influx of foreign nationals into the Republic in the past 10 years has been an exceptionally positive thing. In each of the 3 places i have worked in the past 7 years we have had significant numbers of foreign nationals employed. They have proved to be amongst the hardest working, most highly educated, and most dedicated workers i have ever had the pleasure to work alongside. Despite this it is and always has been the case that if an Irish person and a foreign national of similar qualifications applied for a job in my place of work then the Irish person always gets the benefit of the doubt. Forign nationals in Ireland have constantly strived to work hard, earning their money, and building the economy. And unfortunately, the ‘myth’ of lazy locals unwilling to work is a very long way from being a myth – the €200 a week dole money has ensured that a whole section of the population (almost all Irish) can sit on their arses, living comfortably off the back of the workers in the State (including the foreign nationals), with no intention of ever looking for a job. If you think this is a myth then you’re very naive !

  • Brit

    “The simple truth is that for every eastern European or African foreign national wearing a high visibility jacket, pair of overalls or uniform there is, somewhere, an unemployed Irish person as a result (forget about the myth of lazy local people unwilling to work).”

    1. If this were true to what are Irish people more deserving of the good things in lief that an East European or African.

    2. Many locals in England wouldnt do some of the type of jobs to which you refer – and I would be amazed if the picture is that different in NI/RoI.

    3. Those immigrants you talk about are helping to generate General Demand in the economy which has a beneficial effect on growth and the job market for all at all levels. They are spending money, engaged in productive activity in the construction / service sectors and paying some taxes. Unlike many “natives” who are net drain on the NHS or public sector (children of the elderly).

    4. If you think more workers means more unemployment you seem to be suggesting that population increase leads to higher levels of unemployment. Clearly that is nonsense.

  • “The simple truth is that for every eastern European or African foreign national wearing a high visibility jacket, pair of overalls or uniform there is, somewhere, an unemployed Irish person as a result”

    That is called the lump of labour fallacy, and, to be polite, what you wrote, Oranges for Sale is complete bollox. There is no finite number of jobs, for which we must compete with the immigrants. The number of jobs goes up … or down. The simple fact is that during the boom years there were more jobs for everyone – Irish and migrant. Now there are less, but the answer isn’t to turn on the migrants for taking ‘our’ jobs (they never were ‘ours’, they were completely new jobs), but to try to create more jobs again – by working harder, better, faster.

  • Oranges for Sale

    Horseman,

    the answer isn’t to turn on the migrants for taking ‘our’ jobs (they never were ‘ours’, they were completely new jobs), but to try to create more jobs again

    Typical liberal shite. Any job created in Ireland should purely be for Irish citizens, unless its a highly professional position which cant otherwise be filled. The boom years are over and the tiger economy has limped off into the wilderness to die. At the minute there is simply no more room in the jobs market for any migrant workers. If you think otherwise I suggest you get out into the real world and determine the opinion of the general population.
    Theres also more at stake here than the economy, theres the social fabric of Ireland to be concerned with. Ireland is not the worlds wetnurse, and we have no obligation to house, employ or give medical care to any foreign national. Every Irish town, no matter how small now has a colony of Eastern European/Romany/African/Muslim migrants all of whom are culturally alien to the Irish way of life. A walk through Belfast or Dublin these days is now more like a walk through Istanbul or Lagos . Its really no wonder that local people feel alienated in their own home towns. I’m sure Michael Collins et al would be proud.

  • Carnhill

    Typical ignorant right-wing shite,

    ‘Any job created in Ireland should purely be for Irish citizens’ – bollocks ! Half the jobs created in Ireland are created by foreign Multinationals and the other half are created by small business owners who will employ the right people to push their business on regardless of nationality – who exactly are you to tell them who to employ and who not to ?
    The social fabric of ireland in my opinion has been greatly enhanced by the influx of foreign nationals (not to mention the gene-pool :-)). Small towns all over Ireland do now have foreign national residents, most of whom have integrated very well and continue to do so with their children now attending school and being as irish as my kids or yours. I live in the real world, in rural ireland, where the reaction to the influx has been very positive, and I for one am very proud of the fact that Ireland as a country has dealt with the influx in such a postive manner and with very few problems. It’s something I think that Collins, Connolly et al would be extremely proud of also. And as for a walk through Belfast or Dublin being like a walk through Istanbul or Lagos – fuckin grow up ! I really do think you need to get out more !

  • Brit

    “A walk through Belfast or Dublin these days is now more like a walk through Istanbul or Lagos”

    A very cold and wet Istanbul or Lagos!!

    Now, had you written a walk through Tottenham…. ;o)

  • Oranges for Sale

    Carnhill,

    Yes your correct in your assertion that I am of a rather ‘centre-right’ opinion. However you should go and masturbate your high brow liberal morals at the next Socialist Workers Party conference. The multi national companies which you refer to are mostly either American, or based in western Europe and their certainly not run by the same ‘third worlders’ who currently peddle the Big Issue and pan handle passers-by in the streets of Ireland.

    Forty years ago, the other island nation across the Irish Sea was in the same situation as we are today and it was through the same leftist liberal attitude and government policy towards migrant workers which has rendered ‘England’ almost unrecognisable in terms of culture. The same fate must not be allowed to happen to Ireland with its smaller population. If this does happen then the guilt will fall firmly with people like you.

    When you say most foreign nationals have integrated well into Irish society are you referring to perhaps the Muslims who (while taking jobs and social housing) cocoon themselves in their alien religion and traditions, which are totally at odds with the Irish way of life? Or perhaps you refer to the Roma people of eastern Europe who scratch a living through petty crime and begging?

    And as for their children being Irish? Do you think its a coincidence that almost every African woman you see is pushing a pram packed with kids? Call me a cynic but I think it has more to do with access to housing and benefits as well as perhaps securing rather dubious asylum claims. Naive fool.

    Lets just see how many of our countrymen will tolerate these outsiders when the recession bites harder.

  • Brit

    “rendered ‘England’ almost unrecognisable in terms of culture.”

    Spoken like someone who has never set foot in this country!!

    As a life-long resident of “county” Kilburn I find something slightly ironic about an Irishman complaining about immigration

  • Carnhill

    Oranges for sale,

    Pardon me for not realising that you were just some cartoon character right-wing idiot. I thought you wanted to discuss the reality of the increased immigration in Ireland over the last 10 years, and the impact it has had on the country . Instead of course you just want to rant about the blacks, muslims & gypsies either taking your jobs or scrounging off the dole (Do make your mind up!).
    And for your information, I’m not particularly left-wing, and in fact would probably hold a lot of views which would be considered right-wing, especially when we’re talking about the scroungers in our society who contribute fuck all and instead choose to live off the backs of those who work hard – it just so happens of course (unfortunately for your dopey worldview) that the vast majority of the scroungers are irish, and the vast majority of foreign nationals are hard-working people who contribute !! From reading your rants above I wouldn’t be at all surprised to discover that you’ve not actually set foot in Ireland before (either that or you’ve not set foot outside of your bedroom before.)
    Don’t worry too much, You’ll probably grow out of it.