Oireachtas Joint and Select Committees
Wednesday, 4 December 2019
Committee on Budgetary Oversight
Fiscal Assessment Report: Irish Fiscal Advisory Council
How do the witnesses think Ireland is positioned regarding foreign direct investment? What are their feelings on the likely level of contributions we will have to make to the EU budget in the coming years and the way it may be adjusted? I also want to ask about the comparative spending changes between social protection, health and education. This brings me back to the first point. Are the witnesses satisfied that Ireland remains very attractive for foreign direct investment? We are a trading country. We are heavily exposed internationally at a period when there are problems and disputes in the world trade. These are rolling along and may or may not have an effect on us. We do not know yet.
The appetite of social media companies for bringing property and intellectual property into Ireland seems to be without limit. In fact, it looks as though Ireland is not just a target for foreign direct investment but it has become very much a preferred investment spot as the country for investment by these companies. This is significant. It is something we have to take into account over and beyond the tax elements, which we have often discussed.
Alongside this, we have the prospect of becoming the third to fifth largest contributor to the EU budget in the foreseeable future if the figures keep going in the direction they are going. These are not necessarily risks but they are issues that will probably be significant for us. What is the broad outlook of the witnesses on the opportunities and some of the risks involved? We are going into uncertain territory with Brexit and the UK's EU contributions will fall away. The Finnish Presidency has tabled proposals for 0.7% contributions to the EU budget. What are the views of the witnesses on how these are likely to impact?