Blog Archive | 2013

Are we over-spending?

Posted on November 25, 2013 by Tom Healy

Tom Healy, Director NERI
The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) periodically publishes comparative data on a wide range of economic and social areas from education to pensions to overseas aid. In its latest Government at a Glance there is a wealth of data on many aspects of public service and management of public finance together with measures of outcomes in health and education across all 34 …

Posted in: Government Spending

Average Incomes – falling back to 2005 levels

Posted on November 18, 2013 by Micheál Collins

Income levels, whether for individuals or households, are far from perfect measures of progress and well-being. However, they offer one insight into the experience of recent years for households across the Republic. In particular, trends in disposable income (income after taxes and welfare payments) provide some understanding of what households have left in their pockets to spend each week/month …

Posted in: IncomeInequality

Why we need a new deal for young people in Europe

Posted on November 18, 2013 by Tom Healy

Tom Healy, Director NERI
While there may be grounds for celebration in the departure of An Troika, unemployment, under-employment and precarious employment is the lot of too many young people across Europe. Ireland (Republic), at 27%, is in the acute ward just behind Greece, Spain, Croatia and Portugal which, in each case, have rates of young unemployment in excess of 40% (see indicator 2.2 in the NERI Quarterly Economic …

Posted in: Jobs

Three reasons (at least) why we need a new Investment Bank (S+M+E)

Posted on November 11, 2013 by Tom Healy

Tom Healy, Director NERI
Speaking at a recent conference of the Irish Small and Medium Enterprises  I outlined, in my presentation, a number of key challenges facing public policy over the coming decades and how Irish-owned small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) need to be facilitated in much more ambitious strategy and vision that goes beyond the laudable aim of Ireland being ‘the best little country in the world …

Posted in: InvestmentJobs

Are wages the problem for the hospitality sector?

Posted on October 30, 2013 by Rory O'Farrell

On 30th October water restrictions will be imposed in Dublin and other parts of Leinster. It was reported in The Irish Times that there was 'real anger' amongst business owners as water restrictions are imposed from 8pm. However the Restaurants Association of Ireland previously described itself as 'outraged by the Government's decision to restore Joint Labour Committees'  that protect the pay …

Posted in: InvestmentLabour costs

Low Pay & Low Income: some insights on ‘The Working Poor’

Posted on October 22, 2013 by Micheál Collins

Earlier this year Eurostat, the EU Statistics Agency, released data on the number of low-paid workers in Ireland and across the EU. Their analysis defines low-earnings in relative terms measured as those earning two thirds or less of the national median gross hourly earnings. Median earnings are the earnings of the middle worker in the distribution of workers from the lowest earner to the highest …

Posted in: IncomeInequalityJobs

Northern Ireland Discretionary Income to fall by 20%

Posted on October 21, 2013 by Paul Mac Flynn

Discretionary income is the income that households have left over after taxes and spending on essential household necessities like accommodation, food and fuel. The report therefore captures the falling income in Northern Ireland and the rising cost of living. In Particular over the last five years the cost of essentials rose by 16.6% while gross incomes only grew by 12.0% leaving working people …

Posted in: Government SpendingIncomeInequalityNorthern Ireland

Once again, Unemployment not the full picture

Posted on October 16, 2013 by Paul Mac Flynn

Figures released today showed a further drop in unemployment of 5,000 in Northern Ireland over the last three months, bringing the unemployment rate down to 7.3% as opposed to 7.7% for the UK as a whole. While some may take comfort from these figures, as this blog has pointed out before, the full suite of labour market indicators need to be taken into account. Once again the drop in unemployment …

Posted in: JobsNorthern Ireland

Assessing the impact of Budget 2014

Posted on October 15, 2013 by Tom Healy

Tom Healy, Director NERI
An economist was once asked to assess the impacts of the French Revolution of 1789 to which she replied 'it is too early to say yet'. Budget 2014 may very well fall into this category.  In some ways like an impressionist painting in the Art Gallery the viewer has to stand back and ponder it all. Much detail, many tax cuts for businesses, lots of nasty cuts for some and universal cuts for those …

Posted in: Government SpendingInvestmentTaxation

Is it really €2.5 billion ?

Posted on October 13, 2013 by Tom Healy

Tom Healy, Director NERI
Having spent 5 years now in the austerity trenches another few hundred yards seems surmountable especially when the casualities are counted as €2.5 billion instead of €3.1 billion in 'fiscal adjustments' (cuts to spending or increases in tax neither of which is nice). But, €2.5 billion is still €2.5 billion. In other words around 1.5% of GDP in an economy already on its knees in terms of …

Posted in: Government SpendingTaxation

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