The statistics on the numbers of work permits issued by the Department of Enterprise Trade and Employment to the end of April make interesting reading. These permits are given to employers to enable them to take on people from outside of the EU and EEA because they claim they are unable to fill the positions from within Ireland or the rest of the EU.
A total of 12,268 permits were issued to companies to the end of April. That compares to just 4,383 permits that were issued in the same period of 2021, and indicate that this year will see the total for 2021, 16,275, greatly exceeded.
Among the leading sectors are once again the general health sector, including nursing homes, meat processors and food, and the technology companies. The overseas technology companies based here have already been issued with around 2,300 permits compared to a total of around 2,900 for the whole of 2021.
Intel, Google, and Microsoft have between them been issued with 559 work permits for the first four months of 2022 compared to 536 for the entire year of 2021. This once again highlights not only the massive dependence of the Irish economy on these companies but that fact, as we have shown previously, that the vast bulk of the jobs being created are going to non-nationals.
That, allied to the favourable tax structure and the growing debate over the demands placed by these companies on everything from energy supply for data centres to housing, calls for a serious reappraisal of their dominant position within the economy. It would be interesting to see what exactly a cost benefit analysis would show with regards to what the allegedly unbridled advantages having all of these companies here are.
The statistics regarding where the people being issued with permits originate indicate that the number of people claiming Brazilian nationality who have been issued with a permit to the end of April is already over a third higher than for the whole of 2021 – at 1,500 compared to just under 1,100.
Some Irish employers and their representative groups are driving this at lower levels where the motivation is clearly to have even greater access to lower paid workers from outside of the EU. Not behind the door in this is Adrian Cummins, of the Restaurant Association of Ireland, who recently urged an Oireachtas Committee to even further speed up the process.
Cummins has argued that this is necessary to ensure that the tourist sector does not suffer during the Summer, although his previous objections to the use of hotels to accommodate Ukrainian refugees appear to have been softened by the state supports available to his members.
Meanwhile, the rest of us are reduced to being bye-standers during an accelerated and unprecedented demographic and cultural transformation of Ireland. Driven by the twins demands of corporate profits and a nebulous Pollyanna ideology of “diversity.”