Following recent political commentary, and in the interest of establishing facts, I asked An Taoiseach to provide me with figures outling the remittances from Ireland, to countries around the world in each of the years 2016 to 2018 and to date in 2019.
In response to my question, An Taoiseach said:
“The Central Statistics Office (CSO) estimates worker remittances paid from Ireland as a small component of the current account of the balance of payments. The balance of payments is a complex accounting system which summarises economic transactions between Ireland and the rest of the world in a specific time period. The compilation of the balance of payments is based primarily on enterprise surveys. The framework includes also actual data and estimates of flows between resident and non-residents in the household, government, and non-profit institutions sectors.
“In this context, workers’ remittances are all transfers between Irish resident households and non-resident households. A household is considered to be Irish resident if they have been present for one year or more in Ireland. Remittance information is difficult to compile for National Statistics Offices and is usually based on administrative sources and modelling rather than direct collection. The current CSO data are estimated using Revenue data. Pay of non-national workers is used to estimate disposable income and to derive a remittance amount. The approach using indirect data sources is recognised as a standard approach in the IMF Guide for Compilers and Users of International Transactions in Remittances. The CSO is currently investigating new approaches to deriving remittance information.
“The CSO currently makes no estimate for remittances made to Irish resident households from non-resident households. This is because: firstly, sources from which to compile such estimates are not readily available; secondly, it is believed that where such remittances are made, they are small in the context of the balance of payments and therefore there is not a pressing requirement to impute a value for them.
“Data on remittances are published by Eurostat for all member states. The outflows from Ireland are presented in the table below for years 2016-2018 and the first two quarters of 2019.”
* Data not yet published