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Female participation in the Irish labour market remains below EU levels

Posted on April 17, 2016 by Tom Healy

Tom Healy, Director NERI
The level and quality of employment together with the distribution of skills is central to productivity.  Full employment is possible provided that public policy is directed to this as an overriding priority. When some economists speak of a ‘natural rate of unemployment’ they betray an underlying prejudice – not based on historical evidence – that a particular rate of unemployment is …

Wage inequality on the rise

Posted on April 08, 2016 by Tom Healy

Tom Healy, Director NERI
Although inequality of income has taken up a lot of analytical space for many years much less attention has been given to trends in wage inequality. Last week I focussed on the share of labour in total income in the Republic of Ireland. This week I look at trends in wage inequality.  Two facts stand out: wage inequality in the Republic of Ireland is among the highest in the OECD world (Chart 1) …

A worrying trend in wages

Posted on April 01, 2016 by Tom Healy

Tom Healy, Director NERI
I bet you are perplexed by the title. Read on.  Since the 1980s wages have declined sharply as a proportion of total income in the Republic of Ireland. While total income or production (GDP, GNI or GVA as you wish) has grown dramatically since the early 1990s the share of wages in the total cake as declined. The Republic of Ireland is not unique by any means. In other major economies – notably …

The National Living Wage - What will it mean for Northern Ireland

Posted on March 30, 2016 by Paul Mac Flynn

50p
The National Living Wage of £7.20 will come into force from tomorrow across the UK for those aged 25 and over. This new minimum wage rate will amount to an automatic increase of 50p per hour for the coming financial year and it is set to rise to £9 per hour by 2020. There has been much discussion of how workers and businesses will be affected by the NLW and this is particularly important for …

Posted in: JobsLiving wageNorthern Ireland Wages

Easter Musings

Posted on March 24, 2016 by Tom Healy

Tom Healy, Director NERI
In the course of a decade and a year of commemorations there has been much discussion and consideration about the past.  Difficult issues and questions are negotiated and depending on which tradition one tends to associate with, particular emphasis will be placed on certain events or certain interpretations.  Learning from the past is important and not to be avoided.  Looking to the future has …

Women in the workforce, low pay and the cost of early childhood care and education.

Posted on March 18, 2016 by Tom Healy

Tom Healy, Director NERI
Inequality of pay between women and men is a well documented statistical fact. But, what is the relationship between this gender gap and low pay?  How is early childhood care relevant? And what are the implications for public policy and trade unions?  This Blog looks at these questions in the Republic of Ireland against a background of three important documents that entered the public domain …

UK Budget 2016 - Ominous Revisions

Posted on March 16, 2016 by Paul Mac Flynn

Today's statement in the House of Commons marked George Osborne's eighth budget in just under six years as Chancellor. Whilst there were many eye-catching policies such as a tax on sugary drinks and reforms to ISAs, they could not distract from some major revisions to UK economic growth. The Office for Budget Responsibility cut their forecast of UK GDP growth in 2016/17 to 2%, down from 2.4% …

Posted in: Government SpendingMacroeconomicsNorthern Ireland Taxation

Slides from QEO Launch - Women & Low Pay

Posted on March 15, 2016 by Louisa O'Brien

Slides from NERI QEO Launch - Women & Low Pay

Slides from Seminar on tax shifting and ‘harmful taxes’

Posted on March 10, 2016 by Louisa O'Brien

P Sweeney NERI seminar
Click here for the slides from the NERI seminar delivered by Paul Sweeney (TASC) on 9th March 2016. The seminar was based on a recent publication by the European Trade Union Institute (ETUI) which is available here .

Posted in: Taxation

Fiscal Space, Irish Water and Water Charges

Posted on March 07, 2016 by Tom McDonnell

Water Network
In an earlier blog I noted that the government's available fiscal space over the next five years, after accounting for demographic costs and the indexing of public spending for inflation, would be somewhere in the region of €2.5 billion to €4.5 billion. The Fiscal Council estimate €3.2 billion. The fiscal pressure eases somewhat if, as expected, the European Commission ends up allowing an …

Posted in: Government SpendingInvestment

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