Europe

Ireland to pay extra 280m euros to EU

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Ireland is going to have to contribute an extra 280m euros to the EU budget next year because of its heavily distorted growth figures.

Data published last week showed the country's gross domestic product (GDP) had grown by a staggering 26% in 2015.

The figures were skewed by the activities of multinational companies that use Dublin as a centre for financing and taxation operations.

EU contributions are significantly determined by a country's GDP.

Finance Minister Michael Noonan said Ireland would have to pay an extra 380m euros although mitigating factors would reduce that by 100m euros.

The GDP figure was inflated by one-off items such as companies moving their legal headquarters or intellectual property rights to Ireland.

Parliamentary question

Those moves expand the country's stock of assets while adding little to the real economy.

In a reply to a parliamentary question, Mr Noonan said the GDP figure reflected "activities of a small number of large multinational firms and reflects a number of exceptional factors which have limited impact on actual activity in the Irish economy.

"It is important to note that these factors do not reflect activity levels we are seeing on the ground.

"Although these revisions have significantly boosted investment and net export growth, they do not have a direct bearing on employment and wealth creation for Irish citizens."

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