The Benefits of Irish Unification – It’s the Economy Stupid!
Based on current economic analyses* conducted on the benefits of Irish unification the following estimates have been made:
- Unification will raise the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in the six counties of Ireland currently under British rule, by 2.1 to 2.6 billion euro in the first year after unification.
- The GDP in the six counties could increase as much as 25.3 billion euro in the first eight years following unification.
- In the Republic of Ireland, GDP could rise by 30 million to 152 million euro in the first year and by 10.3 billion euro to 18.5 billion euro total over the first eight years of unification.
HOW CAN THIS HAPPEN?
This is based on five basic premises:
- Harmonization of the tax systems across the Island, with the north adopting the tax rates and regulations of the south;
- Diminished trade barriers and greater access of Northern Irish firms to the common market;
- Adoption of the euro in the six counties;
- Productivity improvements, particularly in the north, resulting from the merging of economic and political institutions; and
- Fiscal Transfers, i.e., the North’s budget deficit to be financed by transfers from the Republic of Ireland rather than the UK, and the amount of such transfers decreasing in the long run.
- The first three of these premises will occur naturally as a result of unification. Fiscal Transfers takes into account the negative economic effects of the Republic of Ireland assuming responsibility for the current subsidy provided to the six counties by the UK.
*Modeling Irish Unification (August 2015), KLC Consulting, Vancouver, BC. KLCPEM@gmail.com; The Economic Case for Irish Unity, Michael Burke.
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