Things are bad. Ireland’s debt to GDP ratio is set to reach 122 percent in 2013, above the 120 percent threshold the IMF considers unsustainable. The total debt of the country, according to an Irish Times report, is €192 billion, four times what it was in 2007, with a projected need to borrow a further €34 billion before 2015.But there's an even bigger issue. It seems that the more highly educated native Irish are emigrating, with their places being taken by less well-educated immigrants, a relatively large proportion of whom are claiming single mother benefits from the state:
Over the past year, 87,000 people left Ireland for countries far afield such as Australia, Canada, and the UK, countries that are now reaping the benefits of Ireland’s expensive-to-educate graduates and tradesmen.Ireland would have been better off keeping to a strong sense of national loyalty, one that might have kept many of those well-educated natives at home working for their own country. Instead, the Irish political class decided to cede sovereignty to the EU and to open its borders. The result is debt and a declining productive base - with the destiny of Ireland currently in the hands of the European bank, the European Union and the International Monetary Fund.
Yet fascinatingly, as those 87,000 people leave the country to find work abroad, the number of immigrants entering the country was steady at 52,700, with 12,400 of these from non-EU countries.
This glaring anomaly of educated and skilled people leaving because of unemployment, being replaced by typically low-skilled immigrants, is not mentioned by the political class.
...even in the midst of financial Armageddon, the numbers entering the country continue at Celtic Tiger levels. Ireland’s welfare entitlements are still very generous, and on any common-sense view of human nature would attract takers. And that seems to be what’s happening.
In north Dublin, for example, over half the applicants for social housing are from immigrants, with over 43 percent of the total being lone parents. While waiting to be housed, all social housing applicants receive rent allowance, with the result that over half of all residential rents in the country are now paid for by the state, or more accurately by the few remaining tax payers.
It's a particularly striking fate for a country that expended so much passion in getting sovereignty in the first place - only to give it away so tamely just a couple of generations later.