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Posts in the "Government Spending" category

Time to re-think enterprise policy

Posted on May 16, 2015 by Tom Healy

Tom Healy, Director NERI - Tom Healy, Director NERI
Tom Healy, Director NERI

There is a view shared widely, North and South, that (i) the overall contribution of indigenous (or native) enterprises is underdeveloped, (ii) a large-scale reliance on foreign direct investment (especially in the case of the South), while welcome in itself, is not a sustainable long-term strategy, and (iii) something needs to be done about this even if it will take years to see the fruits of a long-term strategy. The recent Annual Donal Nevin lecture given by Professor Mariana Mazzucato marked an important contribution to a debate that needs to happen. Her message – based on many years of international empirical research and well summarised in her recent best-selling book, The Entrepreneurial State: Debunking Public vs Private Sector Myths – is that all actors including the state and its various agencies have an innovative role to play in generating new products and services to transform economies and societies.

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Permanent link | Categories: Government SpendingInvestment

Almost 100,000 children live in families dependent on FIS

Posted on May 06, 2015 by Micheál Collins

The current focus on low pay and precarious work practices has set the scene for the work of the recently formed Low Pay Commission in the Republic of Ireland. One aspect of their work will be to look at the number of individuals trapped in low pay, many of whom are dependent on the social protection system to underpin their ability to make ends meet.

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Permanent link | Categories: Government SpendingIncomeInequalityJobsWages

Austerity in Northern Ireland. Where are we and where are we going?

Posted on May 06, 2015 by Paul Mac Flynn

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How did we get here?

The Agreement reached by Northern Ireland's political parties at Stormont House last year covered many topics from parades and the past to political reform and shared education. The agreement has now seemingly come unstuck over the issue of welfare reform. Welfare reform was arguably the most intractable of issues supposedly dealt with by the Stormont House Agreement and the quasi-collapse of the deal still threatens to derail Northern Ireland's budget for 2015/16. That budget, if implemented would be the last instalment of austerity from the current UK government.

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Permanent link | Categories: Government SpendingMacroeconomicsNorthern Ireland

Spring is in the air

Posted on May 03, 2015 by Tom Healy

Tom Healy, Director NERI - Tom Healy, Director NERI
Tom Healy, Director NERI

The late Robin Williams once declared that spring is nature’s way of saying ‘let’s party’. The arrival of the ‘Spring Economic Statement’ last week had a seasonal dimension to it: a heightened expectation in advance, a very predictable outcome, a dash of hope and sunshine but some lingering chills and showers.  The Statement – although lengthy and accompanied by the normal 60-page ‘Stability Programme Update’ – has one very noticeable and arguably welcome feature – its simplicity of message. The Statement can be summed up as follows:

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Permanent link | Categories: Government SpendingMacroeconomics

'These truths we hold to be self-evident...'

Posted on April 25, 2015 by Tom Healy

Tom Healy, Director NERI - Tom Healy, Director NERI
Tom Healy, Director NERI

‘These things we hold to be self-evident …. ‘ is a line taken from the 1776 USA Declaration of Independence.  Given the emerging debate  - such as it is – in the Republic of Ireland on matters to do with taxation, social spending and related areas it would seem that the following ten canonical statements are universally believed in, rarely contested and frequently asserted:

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Permanent link | Categories: Government SpendingIncomeInequalityInvestmentJobsLabour costsMacroeconomicsTaxationWages

The social wage as a mechanism for a widespread recovery in living standards

Posted on March 29, 2015 by Daragh McCarthy

Recovery has begun. However, the economic collapse and years of aggressive reductions in government spending mean the recovery is starting from a position where key public services are stretched, state-sponsored family supports diminished, core welfare rates cut for those under 26, and a lack of public investment in infrastructure around the country is hampering job creation. For workers in many sectors of the economy it is a recovery that has been characterised by an absence of wage increases and a consolidation of flexible patterns of work based on precarious terms of employment. In short, recovery in living standards has been sluggish at best.

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Permanent link | Categories: Government Spending

Employment in the public sector

Posted on March 12, 2015 by Daragh McCarthy

Publication cover - Quarterly Economic Facts Summer 2015 - Cover image for Quarterly Economic Facts Summer 2015
Cover image for Quarterly Economic Facts Summer 2015

As shown in the latest edition of the Quarterly Economic Facts , the public sector in the Republic of Ireland accounts for 18.4 per cent of total employment—not far from the average level across OECD countries. The public sector employees make up 20 per cent of the total number of people working in the Untied Kingdom; however, public sector workers in Northern Ireland represent 31 per cent of total employment (ONS, 2014).

Numbers Employed in the Wide Public Sector

Source: OECD Government at a Glance 2013

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Permanent link | Categories: Government SpendingJobs

From Strabane to Strangford Lough

Posted on March 07, 2015 by Tom Healy

Tom Healy, Director NERI - Tom Healy, Director NERI
Tom Healy, Director NERI

Northern Ireland rests on a very precarious political balance involving internal community relations, external relationships, social well-being and economic progress. In terms of overall size of the economy, including public spending, it accounts for a relatively small slice of the total UK picture. Yet, as a regional economy and polity it is highly vulnerable to fiscal, political and economic trends not only in the UK as a whole but in Europe and the world.

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Permanent link | Categories: Government SpendingInvestmentNorthern Ireland Taxation

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 is largely obtained from taxes and social security contributions but also includes other receipts of public authorities. The largest items of public spending by function are social protection measures (mainly social transfers), followed by spending on health and then spending on education.

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Permanent link | Categories: Government SpendingMacroeconomicsTaxation

NERI Seminar: Funding Universal Health & Social Care in Ireland

Posted on February 12, 2015 by Daragh McCarthy

Yesterday's NERI seminar, given by Professsor Charles Normand, examined the drivers of health care expenditure and assessed the feasibility of universal health care in Ireland. Professor Normand argued that it is feasible to develop a practical definition of universal care, and to work out the costs over time of providing this access.

Yesterday's presentation was based on a recent paper by Professor Normand that makes the case for free access at point of use to universal health care, and addressed the disadvantages of two tier approaches to access. The paper also looks at efficiency of provision, and the scope to use efficiency gains to ensure affordability.

Normand, Charles "Funding Universal Health and Social Care in Ireland: Ageing, dying, and affordability". Paper presented at the NERI Seminar Series, February 2015.

 

Permanent link | Categories: Government Spending

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