Taxes and healthcare barriers to Irish emigrant return

Taxes and healthcare barriers to Irish emigrant return
File photo.

Healthcare, personal taxes, housing supply and infrastructure are key barriers to Irish professionals returning home in the short term.

That is according to the findings from a report from leadership consultancy firm Merc Partners, which found more than half of those surveyed planned to come back within 10 years.

A quarter of more than 500 professionals based mostly in the UK, US, Europe, Middle East, Asia and Australia said they would return if there was a better healthcare system, with three-quarters saying healthcare was better in the countries where they currently lived.

"Although those living in Nordic countries, for example, are happy to pay higher levels of tax to receive better standard of healthcare and education, they see Ireland as needing an overhaul of taxation and major improvements in healthcare and housing.

The gap between their perception of healthcare in Ireland and the service in their current country of residence is one of the most significant findings of the report," Merc Partners said in the report.

Almost half of Irish professionals based in the UK are more likely to return home as a result of Brexit, the report found.

One out of five of all Irish living and working abroad believe Brexit will affect them in some way.

However, there are older professionals living and settled in the UK who don’t believe that Brexit will impact their decision to return to Ireland in any meaningful way, the report said.

Professionals abroad tend to stay engaged with what is happening at home, the report said.

"The Irish diaspora takes a strong interest in what’s happening in Ireland. Over half of those likely to return check for potential career opportunities at least once a month, and over 20% at least once a week," it said.

The firm's managing partner, Ruth Curran said there were "pressure points that need to be addressed" if talented workers abroad were to return.

"One of which is dissatisfaction with high personal taxation rates, which is a common issue among both professionals who are hoping to come back to work in Ireland and indeed those who are currently based here," she said.

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