Despite the name, there’s close to nothing to be a cause of ire in Ireland. The Emerald Isle is home to the most stunning views in the world, the most beautiful ancient castles, and the most modern companies like Google, Facebook, Apple, and Twitter (thanks to their low corporate tax rates). The food is good, the people is very friendly, the lifestyles are very active, and the place is quite rustic and even sometimes provincial. And did we say they also love beer?
Ireland and Australia have so much in common. So today we compare the two so you may choose wisely on which country to settle to.
Relying mainly on services and high-tech industries as well as trade, industry and investment, Ireland’s economy can be categorized as of modern knowledge type, focusing mostly on technology and groundbreaking ideas to further growth. In 2005, survey by The Economist found the country to have the best quality of life in the world. It has an unemployment rate of 7.8% and a deflation rate (Yes, deflation. That’s not a typo.) of 0.5%.
Industries that pay on an above average rate include food, drink and tobacco processing; telecommunications, transport medical appliance manufacturing; construction, and oil and gas exploration. Currently there are no oil reserves discovered in the country, so huge opportunities await to whomever will first find one. You might want to stay away from material manufacturing (metal, plastics, rubber, textiles, leather, pottery and glass), electrical and electronic engineering, and printing and publishing as these are the lowest paying ones.
Ireland’s average working time is 1,821 hours annually, or 35 hours a week.
One of the largest mixed market economies in the world, Australia’s economy is primarily driven by its service sector, comprising 68% of its GDP. Other sectors (and biggest employers) include mining, manufacturing, agriculture, finance, tourism, media, education, and logistics. It is the 12th largest in the world in terms of GDP. Unemployment here is higher by a small margin at 5.8%, but still very low in overall scale. Inflation rate is 1.3%.
Australia makes sure its migrants adhere to its strict standards of skill and qualifications through a point-based system. The most paramount of these qualifications is the ability to speak English. Also, there will be more assessments to make sure your trade and competence is something the country needs. The industries in need of migrant workforce in the country are varied and disparate, ranging from technology to medicine to construction to finance to manufacturing. Currently, Australia is providing what deemed to be the highest minimum wage in the world. Also, average working hours here is just the same as Ireland’s level at 36 hours a week.
Ireland’s health care system is divided into two tiers: the public and private sectors. All residents are eligible to receive health care via the public health care system. The Health Service Executive manages this and is funded by taxation. Depends on his/her income, age, illness or disability, the patient may be obligated to settle a subsidised fee for certain health care received. There are no charges for maternity services and child care up to the age of six months.
Meanwhile, private health insurance can be accessed by those who want to avail of it. They are available through private companies offering this type of service.
Australia’s health care system functions on a centralized level, and is carried out by both private and government institutions. The state and territory governments supervise aspects of health care within their jurisdictions, such as the operation of hospitals.
Just like in Ireland, it is two-pronged: the private health system and the Medicare. The latter is funded partly by a 2% Medicare levy (with exceptions for low-income earners), with the rest being supplied by government. An additional levy of 1% is imposed on high-income earners without private health insurance. To find out more about how Australia’s healthcare system works, check our blog here.
Food and Dining
Due to its temperate climate, Irish cuisine centers on the grown crops and meat from farmed animals with contributions from the English cuisine. Common foods/ingredients include butter, cheese, oats, wheat, cod, shellfish, trout, salmon (typically smoked), lamb, mutton, potatoes, rhubarb, pear, and plum. The country is also known for its alcoholic beverages, mostly bearing its name, such as the Irish whiskey, Irish stout, Irish red ale, Irish mist, and Irish cream.
When dining outside, be conscious about place settings. The knife above your plate is for the butter, while the little plate next to your bigger plate is for the potato peelings. It is not for bread as many assume, as bread isn’t usually served here. Holding the potato down using your fork in one hand, and peel the skin with your knife in the other. Also, keep your hands on your lap when not using, as opposed to most western settings where hands must always be visible. Service charges are usually included in your bills.
Australian cuisine is a fusion of native aboriginal inventiveness and British colonial contribution, with mix of Asian and Mediterranean traditions provided by wave after wave of post-colonial migrations and helped transform their cuisine. They usually take advantage of meat available in the continent, such as lamb, kangaroo, and emu, as well as pork, beef, and chickens. Like the Japanese, Aussies prefer the freshest produces as much as possible (check here for Australia’s most amazing/weirdest foods).
When dining, it is not encouraged that you talk about business or work, unless your host initiates so. Even during business lunches or dinners, it is rare that people will dive in straight on to business conversations. Always start with small talks during meals. Tipping here is usually 10 to 15 percent.
Irish families would rather buy properties than rent them, this results to a less than reliable rental market in the country. There’s a very apparent shortage of apartment here, especially the three- to four-bedroom apartments which is perfect for the family. However, just like the general rule in other countries, it is unwise to purchase a property if you just arrived or you don’t see yourself living in the country for more than three years.
While searching for a private rented accommodation, you may turn to local newspapers, real estate agencies, or even websites such as myhome.ie, let.ie, and daft.ie. It is advised that you view first the rental accommodation before making any tenancy transactions as the quality of apartments vary heavily. For long term agreements, minimum rental period is usually six months to a maximum of three years. The region, city, neighborhood, number of bedrooms, age, and quality of a property usually determine the rental price.
Unlike in Ireland, owning a house is not very common in Australia. Around 33% of residents here lives in a fully owned properties, 31.4% rents their home, while 35%of homes are mortgaged.
The departments of state governments provide public housing in Australia. It is divided into two categories: the inner-city medium to high-rise apartments and the low-density townhouses/fully detached houses located in the suburban fringes of cities and towns. The inner-city public housing is generally found in Melbourne and Sydney. They are usually 3-5 story walk-up flats and 11-22 story high-rise towers. Low-density suburban estates is located in almost every city and town in Australia.
Expectedly, rents are cheaper in rural than urban areas. It’s also lower the further a property is from a large city or town, public transport or other facilities. The average rents are highest in Sydney, Melbourne and Darwin. You may check here for a comprehensive guide on how to find an apartment in the country.
Public and Private Transport
Ireland has a few extensive light rail networks serving the suburban areas. These include the Dublin Area Rapid Transport (DART) rail line running the length of Dublin’s coastline as well as the Luas tram system which has two popular lines. Light rail systems also exist in Cork, Limerick and Galway. However, buses are the main means of transport in the country. They are convenient, affordable, generally fast, frequent and reliable. Roaming around by car is also an excellent way to go around the country, as roads and infrastructures in the country are well developed. Taxis and Uber services also operate here.
A one way train ticket here costs US$2.87, while a monthly pass is at around US$122.66. Starting taxi tariff is US$4.57 with US$1.45 for the first one kilometer. A Toyota Corolla 1.6l 97kW Comfort (or any equivalent new car) will set you back US$26,486.77. Gasoline is at US$1.45 for every liter.
The rail way system in Australia is extensive and efficient logically due to its huge size also. Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth and Adelaide all sport expansive electric commuter rail networks which eventually have developed and expanded over time. Trams have operated extensive across the country but have since shut down in favor of cars, except in Melbourne and Adelaide. While Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane and Perth have partially underground transit systems. Buses and taxis also operate in the country. However, despite the very good public transport system, driving is the most used mode of transport in the country, and this number continues to rise. If you want to find out how commuting etiquette here works, check here.
Commuting costs here are less expensive than in Ireland, though. A one-way ticket here sets you back by US$2.96 while going for a monthly pass will increase it to US$96.96. A kilometer ride of taxi is US$1.62 with US$2.98 as starting tariff. If you want your own car, a Toyota Corolla 1.6l 97kW Comfort (or any equivalent new car) will cost you US$17,430.44 plus US$0.96 for every litter of gasoline.
Weather and Climate
Ireland has a maritime influenced, mild and humid climate. It is characterized as mild, moist and shifting with generous rainfall and not much temperature extremes. The driest and warmest time of the year is during May to mid-September, while January and February are the coldest. Winter days can be most, cold, and short. But temperature rarely falls below freezing due to the Gulf Stream. Snow might be very occasional here, but it is very common in the mountainous regions. It can be very windy in the coastal areas, while hale and thunderstorms are very rare occurrences.
Due to its massive size, climate also varies vastly in Australia to a wide degree. This is reflected on the snow-capped mountains in the south and arid deserts in the interior. Majority of the country leans more towards the temperate, tropical rainforest climate. Australians get plenty of sun and warmth most of the year but with huge drops in temperature during winter.
The weather widely differs with every city. To find out more about the climate in each of them, check it here.
Benefits of Citizenship
Advantages of Irish citizenship include:
- The right to vote in an Irish election
- The right to be elected to government in Ireland and in the European Union
- The right to live, travel and work within the European Union/European Economic Area.
- Eligibility to purchase property in any country of the EU
- Travel throughout the EU freely, using the same Passport as the citizens of France, England, Germany, Italy, Spain, the Netherlands, and all of the other member nations.
- Entitlement to unemployment compensation, health insurance and pension rights ease of travel
- Dual citizenship is allowed
Advantages of Australian citizenship include:
- Being able to work for the federal government
- Children will be Australian citizens
- The right to vote
- Being able to run for public office
- Avoid deportation
- Entitlement for Australian passport
- Access to consular help
- Eligibility for the deferral of education fees
- Full residence rights in New Zealand
- Being able to adopt
- Being able to represent Australia in international sporting events
If you can survive the uncertainties of the weather, then either Ireland or Australia is perfect for you. Both nations are known for their unpredictable patterns. Also, the two share their love for beer, reflected on the many pubs and bars on major cities and even small towns. Also, both countries are relatively safe and known for their strict gun laws.
Because of its location, Ireland’s main draw is its proximity to Europe. Within two to three hours, you can be either in Barcelona or Spain, while the United Kingdom is a mere 45 minutes away. Also, accommodation is highly affordable, though you have to compete your way to find a good one. And if you are working full time, you are entitled to 20 holidays, and this is mandated by the law.
However, unemployment rate is quite high in Ireland. There are also lots of redundancies and the job competition is stiff. The European Union is going through some financial challenges already, and may or may not be worsen by Brexit, but Ireland is one of those who can feel the woes already.
Australia, on the other hand, is much stable economy-wise, as it is not part of any economic bloc who decides what is its financial fate. In fact, it is one of the very few who came out unscathed by the recent global recession. The outdoor and active lifestyle is Oz’s best pride, coupled by the warm weather and friendly people.
However, while Ireland’s properties can be very low-cost, houses and rents here can be very expensive, as is the general cost of living. And if you love going around Europe, you may like to settle in Ireland instead, as the Land Down Under is bordered by the ocean from the rest of the world.