C: Gript

More than 70% of Google jobs don’t go to Irish people. Yet they’re crowding Dubs out of the city.

Last week it was announced that Google had been given the green light to proceed with their plan to create a “new urban centre” as part of their €300 million development at the former Boland’s Mill site on the south Dublin docks.

Planning consultants John Spain Associates claimed that the project which will include various retail outlets, will “enhance the overall public interaction within the development.”

Clearly it is part of Google’s overtures to the native population of Dublin that plays host to the huge tech giant for relatively sparse returns.

God forgive me for saying it, but there is a bit of a tinge of United Fruit in Guatemala circa 1954 about Big Tech’s increasing presence in Ireland – though they don’t need to implement regime change, given the supineness of the hosts in this country.

For all the palaver regarding the economic impact of companies like Google, do they really provide bang for buck? As we will see, most jobs provided by the tech giant in Ireland actually don’t go to Irish people.

Google’s avoidance of tax here is well known and was the subject of concerns both at EU level and on the part of the former Trump administration. Indeed the latter’s attempt to force Google and others to pay more tax in the United States was one of the corporate Woke’s main gripe with Trump. This transmitted to the elite here who have long since abandoned any attempt to match the needs of the Irish people to the positioning of multi nationals within the Irish economy, with the country now operating as a low tax haven

Indeed, so distraught were that faux elite at the dangers posed by Google having to pony up that they preferred to whinge about potential revenue “losses” of around €200 million a year if Google was to take the hump over the closing off of the ‘Double Irish’ loophole.

(Remember when we were the “fighting Irish” and renown for the crack and cultural resilience? Well, forget that. Now we just rollover for bank bondholders, the Germans and tax dodging corporations.)

Just to put the tax thing in perspective, it was claimed that Google Ireland earned €14.5 billion in untaxed profits in 2017, but these were directed through Google Ireland Holdings based in Bermuda, and thus exempt even though that company had no staff on its books in Bermuda. In the same year Google paid €167 million in tax, on declared profits, but that only amounted to just over 1% of their overall profits here. The fear that Google and others might be offended was a tad pathetic really.

No one can claim that the taxation policy of the Irish state is burdensome when it comes to attracting foreign investment. Quite the opposite in fact. But not even most of the left here suggest that it might be reconfigured to ensure that there is a better return on companies using what is a key bridge into the EU market. Reconfiguration meaning just paying what they are supposed to, which is very modest all things considered and given what they get and give in return.

Judging by their budget submissions, Sinn Féin prefer to propose higher taxes on the homes and incomes and leisure activities of moderately well off and not so well off Irish citizens rather than broach that thorny subject. Indeed, they argued in the north for lowering the corporation tax there as part of their spurious “equality agenda.” And of course, they are never going to go all “nativist” on corporate ass when it comes to who gets the jobs.

Ah, but what about all the jobs you cry. Well, what of them. It is a bit of a mystery in fact. Google and successive governments have variously claimed that between 5,000 and 8,000 people work for Google Ireland. When Finfacts looked into this in 2016, they discovered that in 2014, the actual number of paid staff was 2,763.

So what Google and others do is count along with their own staff, those who have contracts with the company ranging from catering to cleaning and security. Finfacts concluded that much of the figures were accounted for by what they describes as a “stealth surge,” which was a consequence of “a restructuring for tax purposes. In effect the 3,000 new employees relate to reallocation of staff based in other countries to Google Ireland.” Whether those people are physically here is another thing.

So, many of the jobs supposedly based here were not actually here at all, no more than the taxes paid by “Google Ireland Holdings” based in County Bermuda were paid to Paddy or Patsy the Taxperson.

And of those jobs, well Google has several times stated that around 70% of the jobs here are held by non nationals. That is confirmed by the fact that the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment statistics show that between 2010 and 2020 that Google was granted 2,629 work permits. And bear in mind that this only refers to people who came to Ireland from outside of the EU and EEA zones, not to other EU citizens including British before they dodged the Van Leyden vaccine disaster.

So, are the Irish tech students who the IDA is always going on about, being taught on old joblot IBM 5150s, or is there another reason they are not fit to work for Google? The number of students graduating with some form of computing or electronic engineering qualification was project to increase by over 70% between 2013 and 2018. So there is surely not a shortage of them.

One problem of course is that many young people emigrate. They do so for a variety of reasons, but some of it surely has to do with the perception and indeed reality that it might actually be easier to earn a few bob and maybe even save enough to buy somewhere to live by working overseas for a while.

It is a valid aspiration, but how much of it is pull and how much push? And to what extent does it tell us of a lack of confidence or even identification with the allegedly cosmopolitan diverse and forward looking country at the cutting edge of transforming staid old nation states into colonies of the Brave New World of Silicon Valley?

And how much of it indeed is due to the big tech companies – and the employment practises of all of them mirror those of Google – who obviously prefer for whatever reason to employ non Irish people in this country to do jobs which they must believe Irish tech graduates are below par, or for some other reason.

As we have referred to previously, this had led to the situation where ordinary Dubs are being priced out of buying or even renting in the city where they were reared – with one report finding that 92% of renters in the Docklands coming from abroad to work in the city.

Ironically, Google was at one time criticised by the Care Bears for employing too few women and too few “people of colour.” No Irish equivalent is ever going to question that Google only deigns to recruit 30% of its staff in Ireland from among the indigenous people. .

The global economy is as it is. Other than certifiable loons, no one is advocating nationalising Dell for example. However, any self-respecting sovereign state ought to – and indeed where they exist – do insist on a quid pro quo. Unfortunately the attitude of the pseudo elite here is not dissimilar to their forebears who thought that being gillies and bailiffs and servants in the Big House was adequate compensation for doing what servants do. Tip the forelock and say “Thanking you kindly Sir.”

Share mdi-share-variant mdi-twitter mdi-facebook mdi-whatsapp mdi-telegram mdi-linkedin mdi-email mdi-printer mdi-chevron-left Prev Next mdi-chevron-right Related
Comments are open

Do you agree with Senator Keogan that people on long-term unemployment benefit should have to do community service for the money?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...