Poland benefits from $7.5billion worth of funds sent home by Irish workers
New figures report huge transfer by immigrants to Ireland
Polish immigrants in Ireland have sent home an astonishing $7.5billion in wages since they arrived to work at the height of the Celtic Tiger boom seven years ago.
New figures released by their country’s own National Bank say the workers who arrived in their droves from Poland as Ireland’s economy thrived.
Many of those workers have now returned home or moved to other European countries since the recession hit Ireland but Poles still account for the majority of the immigrant workforce here.
This is the first them the figures involved have been released by the National Bank of Poland and signify the full extent of money sent home by workers, some of it to support their families and some of it to purchase properties.
An Irish university expert has told the Irish Independent newspaper that much of the money will have been re-invested in the Polish economy by younger emigrants.
Trinity College employment research centre director James Wickham believes highly educated Polish workers will have followed the lead set by young Irish emigrants to America, Canada and Australia and sent money home for their private use.
Wickham told the Independent “I don’t believe that the majority of young Irish who have left are sending back remittances in the traditional sense.
“The Polish work in Ireland for a couple of years and earn money to finish off buying their apartment or pay off credit card debts.”
As the Irish economy boomed, money sent back to Poland grew from $200million in 2004 to $1.6billion in 2008. Those figures have now fallen with many Poles losing their jobs here as a result of the economic crisis.
The 2009 figure fell to $1.1billion in 2009 and was down to $920million in 2010.
Wickham told the Independent said Polish workers are free to do what they like with their money in Ireland.
“There are Irish citizens now working all over Europe and that will increase. And Irish citizens for a long time have worked in Britain and the States and sent back remittances,” said Wickham.
The Polish embassy in Dublin has confirmed that the number of Polish workers in Ireland rose to 220,000 at the height of the boom but has since dropped to below 180,000.
A spokesman for the embassy said that up to 80 per cent of their nationals living and working in Ireland regularly send money home.
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