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.

We have a problem on low skills and we need to talk about it

Posted on May 09, 2014 by Tom Healy

Tom Healy, Director NERI
Have you difficulties reading and understanding your telephone bill? How will you fare on the forthcoming Water charges bill if you live in the Republic of Ireland? Today, on the island of Ireland, there are approximately one million adults with serious challenges in relation to reading and the understanding of text including interpretation of numerical information. According to the latest adult …

The lower paid

Posted on May 03, 2014 by Tom Healy

Tom Healy, Director NERI
Eurostat – the official Statistical Agency of the European Union measures low pay as ‘those employees earning two thirds or less of the national median earning’. In 2010, at 20.7% Ireland (Republic) had the 10th highest rate of low pay as measured by Eurostat. By contrast, Sweden had a rate of 2.5% while Latvia had 27.8%. The EU27 average was 16.9%.  Who are the low paid and where are they …

Posted in: JobsWages

Work, Pensions and Living Incomes

Posted on April 28, 2014 by Tom Healy

Tom Healy, Director NERI
The topic of pensions is not the most exciting matter to consider on a bright spring Monday morning. If you are below a certain age you are more likely to be preoccupied about other matters including getting employment that pays an adequate and sustainable income in the near-term. If you are above a certain age the prospect of approaching retirement might very well be the cause of some concern …

Posted in: Income

Doing, learning and teaching political economy

Posted on April 20, 2014 by Tom Healy

Tom Healy, Director NERI
Some years ago a fellow economist queried why economic inequality is a problem. He suggested that people are born with different endowments of talent and opportunity and a degree of social difference in outcomes is not only natural but good as a spur for economic performance. In any case, he argued, if someone chooses to live a simple life in a remote island at a level of income deemed to be …

Investment, Jobs, Young Workers, Living Wage

Posted on April 12, 2014 by Tom Healy

Tom Healy, Director NERI
Last week the Northern Ireland Committee of the Irish Congress of Trade Unions held its Biennial Delegate conference in Derry. Over 230 delegates attended to debate a wide range of motions and issues.  The detailed programme and accompanying documentation is available here.  The economy report (pages 75-101) is taken directly from articles, blogs and QEO publications by NERI staff. It is very …

Posted in: InvestmentLiving wageNorthern Ireland

Why should taxpayers pay for ‘free’ higher education?

Posted on April 06, 2014 by Tom Healy

Tom Healy, Director NERI
Why indeed? Data published by the CSO and OECD show much better earnings and employment outcomes for third level graduates.  The cost of providing higher education is not small. At approximately €9,000 on average per student per annum the true total cost varies by location, type of course and field of study. Tuition fees and the ‘student charge’ are sizeable but when added together are …

Posted in: InequalityTaxation

Poverty, Wages and Violence

Posted on March 29, 2014 by Tom Healy

Tom Healy, Director NERI
The publication – coincidentally – of two reports in Northern Ireland in the last week has drawn attention to the importance of wages in the Northern economy. While the reports received very extensive media coverage in the Northern media, there was very little in the South. This is regrettable as poverty, wages and community tensions constitute a triad with implications for long-term economic …

Posted in: JobsNorthern Ireland Wages

The temptation of Odysseus

Posted on March 21, 2014 by Tom Healy

Tom Healy, Director NERI
In the ancient Greek epic poem Odyssey, the ship of Odysseus sails past dangerous rocks as his ears are tortured by the sweet song of the Sirens.  This song drove Odysseus mad with desire, and his sailors had to tie him to the ship rail, prohibiting him from giving in to temptation.  If it were not for this the ship would have crashed on the rocks. Picking on this story during a recent address …

Cé na luachanna le haghaidh cén fhís ?

Posted on March 16, 2014 by Tom Healy

Tom Healy, Director NERI
What values for what vision was the title of a ‘Léacht’ I gave over a year ago at the Fóram Díospóireachta in Dublin. The talk was transmitted by Raidio na Gaeltachta later last year and an audio is available here.  The talk, which was given in the Irish language, focuses on the challenges along the road of building a stronger society and economy – one that serves human needs and …

Health a public good?

Posted on March 01, 2014 by Tom Healy

Tom Healy, Director NERI
Health has been in the news a lot recently. Accident and Emergency under pressure. Budgets running over. Private health insurance costs ever rising. Standards of care concerns to the fore. People worried about whether they will get the treatment they need when they need it and within their means. Health can be an emotional issue. Everyone cares about health because everyone has to face times of …

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