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IMF figures show €1.25 trillion held by Irish residents overseas

13 December, 2010 - by Martin Ferris TD

Statistics released by the Central Statistics Office from an IMF survey show that private individuals resident in Ireland have €1.25 trillion invested in overseas securities. €659.2 billion of this is held in bonds. The level of overseas securities has doubled since 2003.

Sinn Féin Workers Rights Spokesperson Martin Ferris said: “These figures prove that while the Government is justifying attacking the very lowest paid in our economy that a small number of people and institutions not only control a vast amount of wealth, but that most of that wealth is being invested abroad.

“Sinn Féin and others were dismissed for suggesting that such sources of wealth could be taxed and yet it is clear that if the state took even a small percentage of this wealth that there would be no need to take €40 a week from minimum wage earners. Indeed it is ironic that many of those who do control that wealth are no doubt among those whose speculation led us to be in this situation in the first instance.

“The fact that so much wealth is invested abroad also highlights the ongoing historical fact that a large proportion of those who have wealth in this country have acted in an anti national manner by refusing to invest in the economic development of Ireland. That is why we are so dependent upon overseas investment. It might also be of interest to know what proportion of the bonds held by Irish residents through overseas firms are actually Irish bonds.” ENDS

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