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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.

Joining up the dots

Posted on January 02, 2015 by Tom Healy

Tom Healy, Director NERI
As a new year beckons it is time to take stock. Following a winter of civic protests and what is hopefully the beginning of the end of fiscal austerity (for now), hopes have lifted and recovery seems to be around the corner - at least for some. But, nobody can be sure what lies ahead - politically, socially, economically whether here in Ireland or across Europe and the world. The speed at which …

Some research highlights from 2014

Posted on December 28, 2014 by Tom Healy

Tom Healy, Director NERI
The year draws to a close and a new year begins. The Nevin Economic Research Institute was established in 2012 with the support of 24 trade unions in Ireland. Since its establishment the Institute has published a large number of research working papers and other material which can be viewed on this website. Some of the outputs in the course of this year include: NERI input to the estimation for …

Ageing well

Posted on December 19, 2014 by Tom Healy

Tom Healy, Director NERI
Economics may be viewed as a dismal science but what do you make of the following biblical passage: ‘Our days may come to seventy years, or eighty, if our strength endures; yet the best of them are but trouble and sorrow, for they quickly pass, and we fly away’ (Psalm 90:10). Economists might sense some affinity with the psalmist!  The topic of ageing exercises the minds of economists, …

The Wages Elephant is in the Domestic Parlour

Posted on December 12, 2014 by Tom Healy

Tom Healy, Director NERI
Flat lining of GDP, water charges in the Republic, off and on balance sheets, Stormont talks stalling, tax cuts, USC, corporate taxes, double-Irish, knowledge boxes, regressive budgets, more tax cuts and Christmas is approaching fast. What’s missing from public discourse? You would never guess – wages. Yet, it is critical to economic recovery and medium-term social development. This Blog …

Posted in: Wages

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 …

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