Posted by in Features.

welcome homeThe Irish government have commissioned a Eu. 75,000 economic report on the improvements needed to facilitate returning emigrants, the report which will take ‘a couple of weeks’ (not a bad fortnights wages), will outline where returning emigrants have difficulty when coming back to Ireland and where improvements need to be made.

Save the 75K welcome home bunting, here are issues faced returning emigrants,

Firstly, try to get the tenant out of your house that’s been renting it for several years and you’ll find that he has more right over your home than you do! Should you be in the jingle mail gang that handed back the keys to your home before you set off for Toronto, best of luck in securing your new mortgage. Of should you be a first-time buyer coming back with a wad of cash hoping to buy a tidy 3 bed semi from the plan, be prepared to enter a long drawn out game paper ping pong with a country full of financial institutions that don’t recognise official foreign revenue documents from other countries, unless it has P60 on the top of the form, you’re in for a marathon mortgage application.

You have a house, now a set of wheels. Remember when you were 20 and you paid more for the car insurance than you did for the car, well, get prepared for a drive down memory lane.   That’s right, unless you have car insurance already, you will be faced with a hefty insurance quote. If you’re like me and kept up your car and car insurance and tax and NCT so to avoid this situation, sorry, you’ll know by now that over the past two years your insurance price has been hit by a 300% increase, the reason when I asked, ‘just a standard inflationary cost across the board’. ‘Oh that’s fine’, I said, ‘I thought you had my age down as 21 and the car down as a 3l cross rally Audi’, ‘oh no just the same 15 year old Avensis and yourself Denise, a housewife, under 5 thousand miles a year and all within a 4 kilometres radius’.

House, car, now school. The school, you, your mother, your grandmother and her mother before went to can’t take you because of ratios but you can fill in applications and hope to get a school place in the vicinity, not necessarily your vicinity like.

All sorted, it’s time to find a job. What worked well in Dubai, where Jim worked, and Sinead stayed at home, no longer works. Jim has a job, but Sinead still needs to find work if they want to the mortgage on their less than lavish 3 bed semi. She finds work and a facility to take the kids for between 7.30 and 9 a.m. She organises a homework club for each day until 5 and thereafter a local woman takes them until 6, this works well for like, 2 weeks until Sinead has exceeded her 5,000k mileage estimate and is no longer insured.

Overall Jim and Sinead struggle with money, mortgage, car insurance, tax and petrol for 2 cars, health insurance, GP bills, Electricity, Heating and refuse, it all gets too much when they have to sacrifice a Sunday lunch in the hotel to save for 2 weeks in Spain in summer. They realise they have forfeited a life abroad where they could thrive, for a life at home where they can just about survive.   For years they worried about their children being brought up in a soulless bubble and now they wonder is coming home to spend an odd Saturday morning, walking around the local organic food market acting like the dogs b…., sorry, cat’s pyjamas, wearing a Barbour jacket and sipping ‘good’ coffee, while secretly worrying if they have enough to put tyres on the Land Rover.

Jim goes back to work in Saudi. Sinead stays home, trying to dry clothes on the radiators looking out at the incessant rain and thinking of her life in sunny Abu Dhabi…

Conclusion, alterations in Ireland to be made to encourage returning emigrants:

  1. Create environment where families can thrive, not live or survive.
  2. Roof it.