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Posts from "Tom Healy"

Tom Healy

Tom Healy is Director of the Nevin Economic Research Institute (NERI). Tom has previously worked in the Economic and Social Research Institute, the Northern Ireland Economic Research Centre, the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development, the National Economic and Social Forum and the Department of Education and Skills.

He holds a PhD (economics and sociology) from UCD. His research interests have included the impact of education and social capital on well-being, social vision and economic strategy for the island of Ireland, Education, Housing and Health.

Imagining a different society

Posted on December 05, 2014 by Tom Healy

Tom Healy, Director NERI
Recent debates about politics, water charges, tax cuts and austerity have focussed on the short-term and how we can get out of the economic slump. This is understandable. Now we need a conversation in Ireland about our long-term goal and how the policies and goals of the immediate months ahead relate to our long-term objectives. To avoid the terrible mistakes of the past we need to learn how to …

Things you always wanted to know about Northern Ireland public finances (Part 2)

Posted on November 28, 2014 by Tom Healy

Tom Healy, Director NERI
In a previous Blog ‘Things you always wanted to know about public finances in Northern Ireland but were afraid to ask’ (Part 1) I outlined the main components of public spending and receipts. The arrangements for funding and how the UK Government allocates funds are complex.  Three factors have recently pushed the issue of public funding in Northern Ireland to the fore: Continuing pressure …

Posted in: Government SpendingNorthern Ireland Taxation

A roof over your head

Posted on November 22, 2014 by Tom Healy

Tom Healy, Director NERI
A roof over your head is a fundamental human need and right. Purchasing or renting a place to live typically takes a big chunk of lifetime earnings or income. It is the biggest single cost facing most workers or households.  Recent decades have seen a significant change in the way people live, work and save over a lifetime.  Ireland and the UK tend to have higher shares of home ownership …

Posted in: Government SpendingInvestment

Things you always wanted to know about public finances in Northern Ireland but were afraid to ask (Part 1)

Posted on November 15, 2014 by Tom Healy

Tom Healy, Director NERI
Fiscal austerity has dominated public discourse across Europe for more than half a decade. The UK and Northern Ireland has been no exception. Recent weeks have seen growing controversy and political tension as public spending cuts imposed by the UK government continue to impact on the local provision of public services and incomes. In the Republic of Ireland following six years of severe fiscal …

Posted in: Government SpendingInvestmentNorthern Ireland Taxation

Welfare Reform in Northern Ireland

Posted on November 02, 2014 by Tom Healy

Tom Healy, Director NERI
The story goes about a town built just beyond the bend of large river. One day three bodies were sighted floating along downstream in the river. One body was dead so they buried it. One was alive, but quite ill, so they put that person into the hospital. The third turned out to be a healthy child, who was placed with a family who cared for the child and who took her to school.  ‘However, …

Thinking aloud about goods and services in the public domain

Posted on October 19, 2014 by Tom Healy

Tom Healy, Director NERI
‘Economics’ has been defined as a ‘science which studies human behaviour as a relationship between ends and scarce means which have alternative uses’ (Lionel Robbins).  While I have difficulty with an understanding which regards economics as a ‘science’ (scientific methods may be used but, surely, that does not make ‘economics’ a science), the notion of scarcity, choice and …

The Shifts and the Shocks

Posted on October 10, 2014 by Tom Healy

Tom Healy, Director NERI
My review of Martin Wolf's book, The Shifts and the Shocks, was published recently in the Irish Times. The book provides a timely and serious analysis of the global situation and outlines some pointers about what needs to happen next if we are not to be condemned to permanent stagnation. Read the full review here

Posted in: Macroeconomics

Dealing with a terrible marriage

Posted on September 27, 2014 by Tom Healy

Tom Healy, Director NERI
They were tall, elegant, famous, beautiful and affluent. It was a fairy-tale marriage deemed to last forever …. until the gales of crisis struck and deep cracks were exposed.  In 2002 and in the run-up to the introduction of the Euro most commentators and policy makers imagined that peace, stability and growth were here to stay. Governments in Europe and across the Western economies thought …

Getting our priorities right

Posted on September 20, 2014 by Tom Healy

Tom Healy, Director NERI
A curious feature of public debate in the run-up to Budget 2015 in the Republic of Ireland next month is the extent of focus on reducing income tax for the top 20% of workers (those paying the top income tax rate). These account for just under 400,000 persons at work and make up 18% of all tax cases. [There has been remarkably little attention paid to those who have taken the greatest hit as a …

Posted in: JobsTaxation

Researching the macro-economic impact of the Living Wage

Posted on September 12, 2014 by Tom Healy

Tom Healy, Director NERI
The idea of a ‘living wage’ is gathering momentum in many parts of the world. It is conceived and measured as a wage rate which is adequate to meet the needs of workers and their families in a given society at a given time. But affordability of life for workers is one thing – what about affordability for companies and employers? Would the application of a ‘living wage’ across the …

Posted in: Living wageNorthern Ireland Wages

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