Myth #2: “Migrants send all their money home”

money spent by migrantsA conservative estimate for the amount paid in taxes and PRSI by non-Irish nationals in Ireland annually is upwards of €1 billion, though likely to be much higher.

Personal consumption is by far the most significant portion of spending that individuals contribute to the economy.
We can estimate that approximately €4.5 billion is spent by non-Irish nationals in Ireland annually on costs such as rent; food; travel; and utilities, €150 million of which is spent in Limerick.

education costThe education sector also requires migrants to pay substantial fees in order to participate in third-level education and English language tuition in Ireland. It is estimated that the international education sector is now worth €1 billion to the Irish economy every year. Migrants are required to pay substantial immigration fees, including immigration registration fees; visa fees; nationality and citizenship fees; and work permit fees. In 2012, these immigration-related fees amounted to a total of €33 million.

Non-Irish nationals sent an estimated €1.8 billion in remittances from Ireland in 2011. This money is often a vital source of income for family members who remain in their home countries, particularly those in developing countries.

In some developing countries, remittances can account for as much as 50% of the country’s GNP. Through the 1960s to 1990s, Irish people living overseas did exactly the same thing – sending money back to their families who had relatively less money and lower chances of employment in Ireland when our economy was weak. This practice still happens today and in 2011, Irish nationals living overseas sent €540 million in remittances to Ireland.