Monday, March 07, 2005

Intel welfare

The decision by the European Commission last week to shoot down the Irish government's €170m welfare grant aid package for Intel is good news for the Irish taxpayer. I can see no good reason for the state to be funding a company's development like that, even a company as strong and as good for Ireland as Intel has been.

Enterprise Minister Micheál Martin claimed that without such aid this project "would be located in Israel or Asia". What happened to all that stuff about our "well educated workforce" that I hear so, so, so often? Does this mean it is still (and always was) about grant aid and tax breaks?

I believe that there is more to Intel's future in Ireland than tax breaks and grant aid, but if there isn't then we're not doing something right if we don't have the skills and experience necessary for an Irish company to rise up and challenge Intel.