The Irish government is expecting emigrants to return to Ireland soon as the economy continues to recover.
The improved economy means that people who left the country in order to work will be more likely to find a job when they get home to Ireland.
Ireland’s Minister for Finance Michael Noonan has predicted that “net outward migration” would draw to a close in 2016 and a “return to net inward migration” would begin in 2017.
A quarter of a million Irish people left Ireland between 2008 and 2014, according to the Central Statistics Office. During those years 300,000 non Irish people also left the country.
The Irish Times report that an 8% drop in the number of people leaving Ireland in 2014, combined with a 8.4% increase in the number of people either returning or immigrating, has seen the net outward migration rate fall by 35% to 21,400.
Mr Noonan said: “The young people who have left are coming back and will continue to do so.”
He says this is a result of the government’s planned cuts to income tax and ‘Universal Social Charge’ policy which will ‘put more money into people’s pockets’ over the next five years, according to Fine Gael.
However, other parties are not so sure. Sinn Féin Senator Kathryn Reilly said that “poor infrastructure, precarious working conditions and low pay, lack of career opportunities and progression and a lack of affordable housing”, were still significant barriers that would prevent emigrants from returning.
Her thoughts were echoed by Green Party finance spokesman Cllr Mark Dearey who said emigrants would find it difficult to return due to “the (lack of) ability to get an affordable home, close to where they will work, and the lack of the same health and educational services they avail of in Australia, Canada or the UK.”
He added: “Rather than promising them tax cuts we need to convince them we can get the planning of those building blocks of our society right.”