Independent TD Mattie McGrath has described the latest statistics from the Eurostat Yearbook as deeply alarming for rural Ireland. The statistics from its 2016 Report demonstrate that over 50% of Ireland’s GDP – the total value of everything produced in the country – is generated in Dublin. This is despite the fact that an estimated 60% of the population live outside Dublin County:
“These figures point yet again to the absurdly disproportionate levels of economic activity that is concentrated in Dublin.
On the one hand it is great news for those living and working there, but it also gives the lie to the idea that the rest of the country will benefit by a booming economy in the capital. This has clearly not come to pass and the rest of the country is being left to stagnate, particularly rural Ireland.
Even the European Commission in Ireland have observed that the figures here are way out of kilter with the majority of other EU capitals.
In fact they go on to point out that since 2004, the shift in economic activities towards Dublin was the second highest in the EU at 5.5 percentage points.
What we are continuing to see therefore is the total absence of any effective plan to redress the massive imbalance that exists between Dublin and the rest of the state.
This has to be addressed not only at government level but also at EU level where consideration might be given to an idea such as making industrial or other types of grants conditional on development in rural Ireland. This would certainly be consistent with the EU’s own agenda of making rural areas viable commercial and industrial centres,” concluded Deputy McGrath.