Posts from "Tom McDonnell"

Tom McDonnell

Tom McDonnell is Senior Economist at the NERI and is responsible for among other things the NERI's analysis of the Republic of Ireland economy including risks, trends and forecasts. He specialises in economic growth, economics of innovation, Irish and European economies, and fiscal policy. He previously worked as an economist at TASC and before that was a lecturer in economics at NUI Galway and at DCU. He has also taught at NUI Maynooth.

Tom obtained his PhD in economics from NUI Galway. He is a native of Limerick city.


NERI Seminar: Fiscal Priorities for Long-Run Growth

Posted on November 20, 2015 by Tom McDonnell

Neri poster
The latest NERI seminar  looked at the Irish economy’s recent performance and considered its medium-and-long-term prospects for growth. Over the course of the presentation a range of policy reforms to increase the economy’s long-run potential output were identified and discussed. Dr McDonnell set out the case for  increased investment in education and skills, particularly early years …

Posted in: Government SpendingInvestmentMacroeconomicsTaxation

Government Debt - We're not out of the woods yet

Posted on October 19, 2015 by Tom McDonnell

Out of the woods
Changes in government debt over time reflect the impact of government deficits. The sustainability of the national debt depends on the scale of the debt in relation to the size of the economy. The government debt-to-GDP ratio is the amount of a country’s total gross government debt as a percentage of its GDP and is one of the indicators contained within the NERI’s Quarterly Economic Facts …

Posted in: Macroeconomics

Budget 2016, Taxes and Growth

Posted on October 08, 2015 by Tom McDonnell

QEO Autumn 2015
Budget 2016 is close at hand and inevitably, and unfortunately, the debate has been characterised by loud and persistent campaigning by the anti-tax lobby. It seems every day brings new calls for tax breaks for one interest group or another. Yet there is limited fiscal space and we cannot afford to fritter away our precious resources in this way – we discuss the available fiscal space in …

Posted in: InvestmentMacroeconomicsTaxation

The Structural Balance - Where Facts become blurred

Posted on August 05, 2015 by Tom McDonnell

Publication cover - Quarterly Economic Facts Summer 2015
Ireland is expected to successfully exit the corrective arm of the Stability and Growth Pact (SGP) at the end of 2015. From 2016 onwards Irish budgetary policy will be subject to the requirements of the preventive arm of the SGP as well as being subject to national budgetary rules. The preventive arm of the SGP is assessed under two pillars. One of these pillars is the structural balance rule. …

Posted in: Government SpendingMacroeconomicsTaxation

Fact Gathering on the Minimum Wage: What do the meta-studies show?

Posted on April 29, 2015 by Tom McDonnell

Euro coin
Ireland set up a Low Pay Commission earlier this year with a mandate to (amongst other things) recommend to government on an annual basis on appropriate changes to the rate set for the National Minimum Wage (NMW). The employment impact of changes to the NMW has long been hotly contested with numerous conflicting theories such as the competitive model, the monopsony model and the institutional …

Posted in: JobsWages

Government spending and revenue in the Republic of Ireland

Posted on February 26, 2015 by Tom McDonnell

Tom McDonnell profile
The NERI’s Quarterly Economic Facts contains a range of indicators on the public finances. One of these indicators compares levels of government revenue and public spending in the Republic of Ireland with that of other European Union economies. The basic method of comparison is to measure total government revenue and total public spending as percentages of GDP. Total general government revenue …

Posted in: Government SpendingMacroeconomicsTaxation

Thoughts on the funding of water services

Posted on November 05, 2014 by Tom McDonnell

Tom McDonnell profile
Next week the NERI will be holding a seminar on the topical issue of water charges (detail are here). In advance of the seminar, this blog provides some thoughts on funding water services in Ireland. Access to clean and affordable water is a human right. Yet there is no such thing as free water. On an annual basis, the provision of water and wastewater services costs in excess of €1 billion. …

Posted in: Government SpendingInequalityInvestment

Overview of Budget 2015

Posted on October 16, 2014 by Tom McDonnell

Tom McDonnell profile
There are some positive elements to the Budget but overall it represents a major missed opportunity. The economics behind Budget 2015 are shaky to say the least. An expansionary budget based on tax cuts for the better off fails the economic best practice test and also fails the equity test. The Budget 2015 tax changes are regressive with single earners on €70,000 benefiting by four times as …

Posted in: Government SpendingMacroeconomicsTaxation

Water charges: affordability and distribution of cost.

Posted on October 10, 2014 by Tom McDonnell

Tom McDonnell profile
User based water charges went live on the 1st of October. Consumption charges are regressive, impact disproportionately on low income households and the introduction of user based water charges raises significant affordability issues. The current system of free allowances is expensive, poorly targeted (with subsidies for richer households) and economically inefficient. In the accompanying NERI …

Posted in: IncomeInequality

The Revenue Gap

Posted on August 12, 2014 by Tom McDonnell

QEF chart 6.2
The NERI’s Quarterly Economic Facts contains a range of indicators on the public finances. One of these indicators compares government revenue as a percentage of GDP in the EU and the Republic of Ireland. Total general government revenue is largely obtained from taxes and social security contributions but also includes other receipts of public authorities. Government revenue in the Republic of …

Posted in: MacroeconomicsTaxation

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