Minister for Justice Helen McEntee last week claimed to “bust five myths about migration.” We’ examined her claims using the available statistics.

Claim #1: Migrants Contribute to the Economy 

Fact Check: False

The Minister cites a statistic, without reference, stating that migrants contribute €3bn in tax receipts annually. Accepting this statistic at face value implies that, despite comprising around 20% of the population, migrants contribute only 10% to overall tax receipts.

However, this argument overlooks the actual costs of migration. The burden on the Irish state is diverse, with examples like medical negligence costing taxpayers 2.4 billion Euros in 2022, of which 84% were attributed to migrants. These figures fail to account for the broader impact on the healthcare system, welfare, Garda resources, education, and more.

While there is no specific study for Ireland, a Netherlands study found that migrants cost the Dutch state 17 billion Euros annually, averaging 3732.87 Euros per migrant.

Some Irish analyses suggest that migrants earning less than 80 thousand Euros a year are a net drain on the economy. Given that only 5% of the Irish population earns more than 85K annually, in most cases, migrants are not contributing but actively drawing from the state.

Claim #2: We Need Migrants

Fact Check: Vague and unsupported 

As discussed above, migrants are a net drain on the overall health of the Irish economy. The job shortages discussed by the Minister are the direct result of failed Government policy. 

For example, the last available data indicates that 20% of medical practitioners in the state are non-nationals. Which is roughly 4,000 people. In 2021, 725 Doctors graduated, meaning that this shortage could be filled by nationals in the space of 5/6 years. However, since 2011 roughly 34% of Irish doctors migrate due to poor pay and working conditions. Meaning had the Government treated medical staff fairly, there would not be a staff shortage. 

The argument that migrants are helping to solve the housing crisis in absurd. Taking 2022 alone, 2 cities the size of Waterford would have to be built to accommodate the number of migrants coming into the state. According to statistics provided to the Burkean in 2021, as much as 32% of the Dublin city council housing waiting lists were migrants. It’s worth noting that migration has drastically increased since then. Migrants are putting an inordinate pressure on the Irish housing market.

Claim #3: Migrants Are Not Taking Our Jobs

Fact Check: False 

The Minister uses the example of healthcare again, as demonstrated above migration has been very damaging to the health service. Costing the state 84% of 2.4bn euro worth of Medical negligence claims made in 2021. 

The Minister also ignores the actual impact of migration on Irish wages. Migration undermines the bargaining capacity of Irish workers, depressing wages and working conditions. This has been born out with the almost negligible growth in Irish wages over the last few years. Wages are lower in Ireland today than they were in 2009. For young people entering the labour market, they are now earning less in their 20s – in real terms – than they did in the 19990s and 2000s.

Claim #4: Seeking Asylum In Ireland Is Not a Free For All 

Fact Check: False 

The Minister references several “rigorous” back ground checks employed by the Gardaí to establish the legitimacy of asylum claims. However, given that 60% of asylum applicants that arrive in Dublin airport do not have any ID, there is no actual way of carrying these background checks out in the vast majority of cases. 

The state is aware that the system is being taken advantage of. For example, the Georgian ambassador has advised the Irish Government that Georgia is a safe country and that there was no need for Georgians to claims asylum in Ireland. However, Georgians consistently rank among the highest number of IPAS applicants. 

A policy of voluntary deportations means that even after migrants have had their refugee status rejected, there is no way of ensuring that they have left the country.

Claim #5: Ireland Is Not Full

Fact Check: Vague and unsupported

By the Government’s own admission, Ireland is in many ways full. Last year, Roderick O’Gorman’s department put out a statement discouraging individuals from coming to Ireland because of the lack of accommodation. Ireland is so full that refugees and migrants coming to the country are sleeping on the streets. 

Conclusion: Misleading and unsupported

The Minister’s video is full of inaccuracies. This is blatant disinformation on the part of the Government. The Minister claims that accepting migrants is “the right thing to do”. The real cost of the Government’s migration policy is enormous human suffering. 

Posted by Charlie Kennedy

3 Comments

  1. D c clan Hayes 07/02/2024 at 12:36 am

    Good and solid article, the sort David McWilliams and Kevin Myers wrote in the Irish Times years ago before McWilliams saw the colour of money and Myers was defamed and no platformed.

    Reply

  2. I would like to know the costs of illegal economic migrants who claim asylum and who then after many appeals get leave to remain or avail of an amnesty. Of course there are no figures available to assess this. These former illegals will be low skilled so if they work are on minimum wage so small tax contribution – but add in the cost of the medical card , HAP(housing assistance payment) and education of their children then its seems reasonable to say there is no significant income from these people and that most are a cost to the taxpayer.

    Reply

  3. Ivaus@thetricolour 07/02/2024 at 7:02 pm

    Fact Checkers come Myth Busters,a new party political pastime perfotmance
    by the biggest political fool in all of Irish History,MC,NT is the problem.
    Her interpretation of facts clearly demonstrate a capacity for fiction …black is
    white…up is down and reality is a fairytale. WHAT QUALIFICATIONS, if
    any, does this prime idiot posess,did she achieve a basic level of education ?
    The FACT that she granted a blanket amnesty to THOUSANDS of illegal
    UNvetted criminals when first stepping on Irish Soil becomes a MYTH when
    she cannot remember what her actual (partime) role is,what for or why?
    Shes not qualified to self regulate and the basicFACT that she holds any public
    office at all is the greatest MYTH of being voted in at all …by any electorate.

    Reply

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