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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.

Raising wages or cutting taxes?

Posted on February 15, 2014 by Tom Healy

Tom Healy, Director NERI
‘Putting more money into the pockets of consumers and workers’ Now who could be against that? ...after six years of unrelenting austerity, wage cuts for some, tax increases for nearly everyone …. But the problem is that ‘putting more money into the pockets’ can be done in a number of ways. Taxes on income can be lowered by one means or another. Or, wages can be increased. Creating new …

Posted in: Labour costsTaxationWages

Time for a debate on Higher Education

Posted on February 07, 2014 by Tom Healy

Tom Healy, Director NERI
Investment – or the lack of it – has been a frequent theme in the debate about how economic recovery could be assisted through targeted, timely and beneficial interventions. Typically, mention of investment invokes images of men and women with yellow hats, cranes in the horizon and engineers surveying property. But, investment also includes the time, money and effort put into educating young …

The best behaved pupil?

Posted on January 26, 2014 by Tom Healy

Tom Healy, Director NERI
As memories of the Troika in Ireland recede and as the narrative has been truly set we should pause and ask some hard questions.  In a recent article entitle Ireland: The Best Behaved Pupil? on the Policy Network website (State of the Left) I have argued that 'the great irony of recent months is that just as Ireland exits from the ‘bailout’ a public debate has begun on the merits of cutting …

We ignore the environment at our peril

Posted on January 17, 2014 by Tom Healy

Tom Healy, Director NERI
Environmental change has attracted growing concern over recent decades. The recent recession in most European states has diverted attention, temporarily to problems of debt, low-growth and under-utilisation of resources such as labour. Yet, the natural environment plays a huge role in shaping the lives and choices of humanity. It is beyond doubt that changes in the environment have been the …

‘a serious challenge that businesses and the Government must address’

Posted on January 09, 2014 by Tom Healy

Tom Healy, Director NERI
In Northern Ireland – as in the rest of the United Kingdom – real wages have been falling since 2008. Using data from the Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings (ASHE) the UK-based GMB trade union has estimated that average earnings in Northern Ireland , when adjusted for inflation, have fallen by 12% between April 2008 and November 2013.  This is turning out to be the longest real wage squeeze …

Posted in: InequalityLabour costsLiving wageNorthern Ireland

Decent wages: What, Why, How?

Posted on January 05, 2014 by Tom Healy

Tom Healy, Director NERI
What is a 'living wage'? How do we measure it? And how could it be brought about for everyone at work? You have guessed - these are no simple answers to these questions. Research by NERI does throw some light on these questions and it is hoped to undertake additional research into these matters in the course of this coming year.  First, a 'living wage' rests on the notion of a wage rate that is …

2013 - a busy year for the NERI

Posted on December 29, 2013 by Tom Healy

Tom Healy, Director NERI
This month brings to a close a very busy year for the newly established Nevin Economic Research Institute. The NERI has begun to contribute to a much needed and long-overdue debate on policy evidence and policy choices in key areas of relevance to the trade union movement and wider society - labour market trends, public services, investment and wages.  Together with other researchers and …

Economic Development with a purpose

Posted on December 20, 2013 by Tom Healy

Tom Healy, Director NERI
The recent Government Medium-Term Economic Strategy, 2014-2020 ('A Strategy for Growth') is a welcome statement of key economic goals even if the Strategy lacks important detail and a more ambitious social perspective which learns from one of the greatest crisis that has emerged since the foundation of the Irish State. The goals of full employment, manageable household debt, an end to large-scale …

Where to now (Post-Troika)?

Posted on December 14, 2013 by Tom Healy

Tom Healy, Director NERI
A very strong narrative is gathering pace abroad and at home: There was ‘absolutely’ no alternative to ‘austerity’ in the case of Ireland once the storm broke in 2008; Ireland displayed remarkable and exceptional resilience, consensus and passivity in accepting the ‘tough’ decisions that ‘had to be made’ to restore public finances; The ‘tough’ decisions made and implemented …

A Modest Proposal

Posted on December 08, 2013 by Tom Healy

Tom Healy, Director NERI
Suppose you were the Minister of Finance in 2009 and that you were held up and forced to hand over a lot of money to a number of bust banks?. You didn’t have the money at the time so you took it out of a special pension savings fund built up by taxpayers meant for the next 50 years. Suppose that, in the meantime, one of the banks involved turned solvent and returned a modest sum of money plus …

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