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Posts in the "Government Spending" category

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

Did austerity work?

Posted on January 18, 2015 by Tom Healy

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

Fiscal austerity is the topic of a conference being held today in Dublin. The question is asked: did austerity work in Ireland? A key consideration is not what might have happened if the fiscal consolidation had not been done, but, if it had been done differently with no cuts to public capital investment, minimal cuts to current spending and significant increases to revenue especially that related to income from capital.

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Permanent link | Categories: Government SpendingMacroeconomicsTaxation

UK recovery still unbalanced and unstable

Posted on December 03, 2014 by Paul Mac Flynn

Paul

Chancellor George Osborne's Autumn Statement contained few new announcements and some decidedly grim long-term trends for the UK economy. There were further details given on pre-announced infrastructural spending on house building, roads and rail in addition to earmarked funding for established science and research. The chancellor also outlined a major reform to the way stamp duty is levied in the United Kingdom, removing the "cliff edge" that exists as the price of a property moves between established bands. While reform of this tax is welcome, it could be perceived as a further attempt to boost house prices and activity in teh market. It is estimated that the cost of this policy will be in the region of £800m annually. Air passenger duty was also reduced along with a continuing freeze in fuel duty. There were small uprates to the personal tax allowance and the higher rate band.

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Permanent link | Categories: Government SpendingMacroeconomicsNorthern Ireland TaxationWages

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 - Tom Healy, Director NERI
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:

  1. Continuing pressure on public spending at UK level with further austerity signalled by all main political parties in the next Parliament (following May 2015).
  2. Controversy over UK Welfare Reform (see previous blog here)
  3. On-going debate about devolution including powers to vary taxes in Scotland, Northern Ireland and even large urban areas in the UK (earlier last week the Smith Commission reported on proposals for further Scottish independence).

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Permanent link | Categories: Government SpendingNorthern Ireland Taxation

A roof over your head

Posted on November 22, 2014 by Tom Healy

Tom Healy, Director NERI - Tom Healy, Director NERI
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 compared to many European countries and this has not changed over time. 

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Permanent link | Categories: 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 - Tom Healy, Director NERI
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.

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Permanent link | Categories: Government SpendingInvestmentNorthern Ireland Taxation

NERI Seminar: Assessing Funding Models for Water Services Provision

Posted on November 12, 2014 by Daragh McCarthy

Tom McDonnell NERI Seminar on Funding Water Services.png - Tom McDonnell speaking at the NERI seminar on funding water services
Tom McDonnell speaking at the NERI seminar on funding water services

The Institute hosted its November research seminar in INTO Learning Centre yesterday afternoon. Dr Tom McDonnell presented his recent working paper on funding models for water services provision.

Working on the premise of water charges being introduced, the paper recommends combining a volume based pricing structure with a system of income related water credits ensuring that a combination of water charges and low income does not become a barrier to vulnerable households accessing water and wastewater services. The working paper accompanying today's seminar is available here and a recent blog by Tom Healy on the subject water charges can be found here. Slides from the presentation can be accessed below:

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Permanent link | Categories: Government SpendingInvestmentTaxation

The workings of austerity

Posted on November 08, 2014

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

When, in November 2010, the President of the European Central Bank wrote to the then Irish Minister for Finance, he stated on behalf of the Governing Council of the ECB that the Irish Government undertake four specific actions. The first two included the following commitments: “1) The Irish government shall send a request for financial support to the Eurogroup; 2) The request shall include the commitment to undertake decisive actions in the areas of fiscal consolidation, structural reforms and financial sector restructuring, in agreement with the European Commission, the International Monetary Fund and the ECB.” 'With kind regards etc.'

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Permanent link | Categories: Government SpendingInvestmentMacroeconomicsTaxationWages

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. Water is difficult to transport and a consistent and secure supply of clean water is expensive to provide. Indeed the provision of water and waste water services requires the construction, maintenance, operation and improvement of expensive network infrastructure. The question isn’t ‘whether’ we should pay for water and wastewater services but ‘how’ we should pay for them.

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Permanent link | Categories: Government SpendingInequalityInvestment

Budget 2015: another regressive budget

Posted on October 24, 2014

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

Recently the Government in the Republic of Ireland unveiled its budget for the year 2015.  By European law the Budget is subject to approval  by the European Commission. Unlike a number of other European Union Member States it seems highly likely that the Budget will be approved. In the normal flow of events a Finance Bill will be enacted by the parliament or Dáil in Dublin before the end of this year.

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Permanent link | Categories: Government SpendingInequalityInvestmentTaxation

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