Any Syrian refugees we take in should be granted immediate work visas - Clune
Ireland South MEP Deirdre Clune has said that Ireland should grant immediate work visas to those refugees to whom we grant asylum to in the coming weeks and months
"If we are serious about integrating the refugees into our towns and villages, then we cannot have them sitting in disused military barracks on the edge of town earning 19 euro a week each. They must be allowed to contribute to our economy, to work, to pay taxes and to become full contributing members of our society.
"Unemployment has fallen to 9.7%, and with 5.2% GDP growth, we have become the fastest growing economy in Europe. As our economy continues to grow, we will come to depend on a younger workforce with a varied skill set. Europe has an ageing population. We need more people, we need people who will pay taxes and state pensions in future. We need people who will contribute into the future, not simply draw on the resources of the state.
"We have a duty to afford the same opportunity to those migrants that young Irish people have been afforded in countries like America, Canada and Australia. Europe needs immigrants, with youthful energy and skills, to fill jobs that locals, for whatever reason, are unable or unwilling to take. This does not mean that all borders must be opened to everyone.
"The German business community views the recent influx of refugees as an opportunity to help companies grow and ensure long-term prosperity. They understand that we need to look upon this situation not as a crisis, but as an economic opportunity.
"More people working translates into more people paying into the pension fund and health insurance systems, more people consuming and producing goods, and more people paying taxes to pay for expenses like schools and road construction.
"EU Commission President Jean Claude Juncker has committed to relocate 120,000 people in clear need of international protection to other EU Member States. This number will be on top of the 40,000 that the Commission proposed in May to relocate from Greece and Italy. Ireland will be taking in a proportion of those refugees.
"Ireland should learn the lessons of the Celtic tiger when we had to launch recruitment drives in countries like Malaysia and India to fill vacancies in our hotel and tourism sector. We now have an opportunity to do the right thing, but also to do what makes perfect economic sense.
"What Europe really needs is a legal system of migration, in the same guise as Canada and Australia, that takes in migrants based on what skills they have verses what skills we need.