Potential Intel support is welcome but Ireland can never match fiscal firepower of bigger EU countries - MEP Kelleher

Published on: 14 May 2024

- Investors also cite concerns about Ireland's energy generation capacity -

Fianna Fáil MEP Billy Kelleher has said that while he welcomes the Government’s potential financial support for a new Intel plant, he is concerned that Ireland will struggle to compete with other EU Member States with bigger fiscal capacities, such as Germany, to attract international investment if State Aid rules are not enforced fairly.

“Ireland securing Intel investment with Irish Government support is positive. However, we have seen in recent years how other Member States circumvent EU State Aid rules to attract investment.

“We know, for example, that Germany supported an Intel facility to the tune of up to €10 billion in recent years. Poland has also done similar,” added Kelleher who is a member of the European Parliament’s Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee.

“The Irish State will never be able to match the fiscal firepower of State’s like Germany due to our smaller GDP.

“So while this week’s news about the Government’s possible support for Intel is welcome; it could lead us down a dangerous path. The Single Market was designed with the intention of eliminating unfair State Aid supports save in exceptional circumstances.

“In addition, companies like Intel, others big players in the tech sector and those in the life-sciences and pharmaceutical sectors have also raised concerns about Ireland’s ability to power their potential investments due to grid capacity challenges, rules surrounding data centres and our lethargic rollout of off-shore wind energy

“Ireland’s industrial offering must be of the highest level in order to make us a viable alternative to countries with big cheque books. If it isn’t, we risk future investment into our country and the well-paying jobs that go along with those investments,” concluded Kelleher.