Brian Hayes MEP today said that EIB funding to Ireland in the first year following the bailout was 37% higher than the final year of the bailout programme.
“Ireland’s position on the international markets has dramatically improved since the bailout. The first year after Ireland left the bailout programme (2014), EIB funding increased by 37% compared to the previous year, from €680 million to €932 million.
“When one considers that in the first year of the bailout programme, EIB funding to Ireland was just €210 million, we are now getting vast EIB input into various infrastructure projects all over the country. Earlier this year, the EIB invested €150 million into social housing in Ireland which is expected to deliver up to 2000 homes.
“This stream of funding will only continue to get better as growth in Ireland improves. Private investment into Ireland fell by around 25% during the crisis. This has really been one of the major casualties for the country throughout the crisis.
“The challenge is ensuring that we get investment levels back to normal levels. The government’s recent Capital Investment plan is ambitious enough to deliver proper infrastructure investment over the next five years.
“Under President Jean-Claude Juncker, the new European Commission has committed to re-igniting investment in Europe. The EU’s €315 billion Investment Plan is already starting to have an impact with several projects funded all over Europe, including Ireland. The government needs to continue to work with the Commission and the EIB to maximise Ireland’s potential from this Investment Plan. It is all about proposing realistic projects which meet the EIB’s strict criteria on credit quality.”
In 41 years of EU Membership, Ireland has received a net amount of €44 billion from the EU
Brian Hayes MEP today said that Ireland is expected to go from a net recipient to the EU budget to net contributor within the next five years.
“Between 1973 and 2014 Ireland received around €73 billion in EU funding and contributed just over €29 billion to the EU budget. This means that we have received a net amount of over €44 billion from the EU.
“It’s clear that Ireland as a small country has done extremely well out of the European Union. Before we joined the Union, our per capita income was a little over half that of the average of the then nine members. Now, our GDP per capita is second highest in the Eurozone.
“The success of our economy means that we will very soon become net contributors to the EU budget. It is expected that over the period of the current 7-year EU budget cycle (2014-2020) Ireland will be a net contributor. This is not a bad thing. Ireland has reaped the rewards from EU membership and we now have an opportunity to contribute to the success of the EU going forward. A stronger EU means a stronger Ireland. The benefits of the EU are much more than monetary contributions – the EU gives citizens the freedom to live, work, study and travel anywhere in the Union and the single market allows businesses to trade freely with each other.
“Vice-President of the European Commission Kristalina Georgieva has informed me that the operating budgetary balance in % GNI for Ireland has been generally positive over the past 15 years. She also confirmed that Ireland’s bailout programme had no effect on Ireland’s contribution to the EU budget, meaning that the percentage of our contribution to the EU budget was not impacted by the Troika programme.
“Ireland was a net contributor for only one year of its membership of the EU – 2009. But due to increased funding from the EU, particularly in terms of regional funding and agriculture subsidies, we have been net recipients for the past 5 years.”
Article by Brian Hayes MEP on the European Victims Right Directive which was published in the December 2015 edition of Garda Review
Dublin MEP, Brian Hayes has today (Wednesday) welcomed the approval by the European Parliament to provide €442,293 to former workers of PWA International which was based in Rathcoole, Co Dublin. Mr Hayes was speaking in Strasbourg where MEPs overwhelmingly supported the application.
“Under the EU Global Adjustment Fund member states can apply to the EU for funding to assist vulnerable workers who have been made redundant due to the impacts of globalisation. The aircraft maintenance industry is one industry that has suffered. This is due to the increasing trend requiring the industry to relocate to areas where aviation is expanding such as Asia.”
“PWA is one of the companies that has suffered. In 2013, 108 workers in the aircraft maintenance business lost their jobs as part of the global trend towards locating maintenance repair businesses in Asia.”
“The PWA International application that was approved today by Parliament includes measures to assist people who are not currently in education, training or employment. It will be used to provide career guidance, access to education, allowances as well as arrange work placements and work experience.”
“Over the past seven years, Ireland has had nine successful applications for funding through the Globalisation Adjustment Fund. It has helped over 9,700 redundant workers, costing the EU in the region of €60 million. This is a good example of the practical support the European Union can offer its citizens. The financial support from the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund is an acknowledgement that European solidarity is alive and well” concluded MEP Hayes.
Article by Brian Hayes MEP that was published in the Sunday Business Post on 13th December 2015
Brian Hayes MEP today said that the European Commission’s new proposals on retail financial services have the potential to create a real internal market for everyday financial products such as mortgages. EU Commissioner for Financial Services Jonathan Hill is due to launch the Commission’s Green Paper on Retail Financial Services this Thursday 10th December.
“Commissioner Hill recently said to me that the EU institutions need to think about everyday financial services from a consumer point of view and come up with ways to improve our internal market. I believe Commissioner Hill has taken a bold step in addressing the problems that consumers face when they try to go to another country and buy a financial product.
“Only 3 percent of consumers in the EU have availed of a mortgage, credit card or insurance product in another member state. This is an embarrassing statistic for our internal market which should ultimately be working on behalf of the consumer.
“Irish consumers currently face serious problems availing of reasonably priced mortgages – in particular, Irish consumers face rip-off prices for variable rate mortgages. There’s no reason why the EU couldn’t have a well-developed internal market for mortgages. The average variable mortgage rate in Ireland is 4.18%, almost 2% higher than the Eurozone average. In Germany or France, for example, you can get long-term fixed interest mortgage for less than 3%. If we’re part of an internal EU market, why shouldn’t Irish customers be able to get a mortgage from a German or French bank?
“The reality is that the EU’s internal market does not work properly when it comes to buying financial services products. Consumers are forced to buy products such as mortgages in their own Member State because the obstacles are too great to shop around in other Member States.
“The Commission estimates that more market convergence on mortgage interest rates could bring about savings up to €63 billion per year for consumers all across the EU.”
Dublin MEP, Brian Hayes has today (Sunday) welcomed the implementation of a cross border code of conduct for online gambling. Mr Hayes made his comments after the European Commission drafted guidelines were signed by EU Member States.
“This year more than 7 million citizens across the EU gambled online. While it’s the responsibility of individual Member States to legislate for gambling, legislating for online gambling has proven most difficult.”
“The new agreement will allow regulators in individual Member States to set up a system to share information about companies that offer online gambling. It will also ensure compliance with national laws as well as prevent money laundering and fraud.”
“Online gambling has been an issue of contention between Member States for some time. Every year more and more people are turning to online gambling as compared to the traditional betting shop. It’s clear that something had to be done to protect EU citizens” concluded MEP Hayes.