Posts in the "Macroeconomics" category

The beginning of the unwinding of a European tragedy?

Posted on January 26, 2015 by Tom Healy

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

While the results of the general election in Greece are not known at the time of writing this Blog, it is clear that the tectonic plates of political affiliation and sentiment are shifting dramatically almost everywhere. The unthinkable suddenly becomes thinkable and the thinkable becomes irrelevant. Where market sentiment rules popular sentiment offers a counter weight.  Echoes of this are evident even in Ireland where, following 7 years of unrelenting austerity and pressure on living standards, employment and public services, popular sentiment is in the ascendancy.

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Permanent link | Categories: Macroeconomics

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

NERI Seminar: Spatial Justice and Lessons from the Crisis

Posted on December 11, 2014 by Daragh McCarthy

Stand Logo - Nevin Economic Research Institute
Nevin Economic Research Institute

The latest NERI seminar, Some Lessons from the Crisis: Spatial Justice, Uneven Development and Future Choices, was held yesterday in the INTO Learning Centre. Gerry Kearns (professor of geography, Maynooth University) and David Meredith (senior research officer, Teagasc) outlined a concern that, as a society, we are lying the foundations for a return to a pro-cyclical economic merry-go-round resulting in further concentration of capital, social injustices and uneven spatial development. They highlighted the danger that despite the hardship and sacrifices that we ‘wasted a serious crisis’ (Rahm Emanuel).

In developing these ideas, the talk provided an overview of spatial changes in the composition of the labour force and youth migration patterns. This draws attention to the presence of long run trends towards economic agglomeration within some regions, weakening of others and the ultimate futility of repeating historical initiatives in the hope that this time the outcome will somehow be different.

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Permanent link | Categories: InequalityInvestmentJobsMacroeconomics

UK recovery still unbalanced and unstable

Posted on December 03, 2014 by Paul Mac Flynn


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

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

NERI Post Budget Seminar

Posted on October 23, 2014

Post Budget Seminar 2015 - NERI post Budget seminar
NERI post Budget seminar

The October NERI seminar took place yesterday afternoon in the INTO Learning Centre. Michelle Murphy (Social Justice Ireland), Cormac Staunton (TASC) and Michael Taft (UNITE) provided on overview of the impact of the Budget 2015 with a focus on changes to system of income tax and the prospects for economic growth and employment over the coming years. 

Response to Budget 2015

Links to the slides used by each presenter can be found here:

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Permanent link | Categories: Government SpendingIncomeInvestmentMacroeconomics

Income Taxation and Budget 2015

Posted on October 17, 2014 by Micheál Collins

Budget 2015 (Public investment in social housing)

Judged from an income taxation perspective, Budget 2015 was reminiscent of Budgets of ten years ago, or more - maybe a worrying starting point! Cuts to income taxes dominated the announcements, and policy implementation within the Budget. This was at the cost of other priorities, including securing a more stable basis for growth and recovery in the years to come.

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Permanent link | Categories: IncomeLiving wageMacroeconomicsTaxationWages

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 much as minimum wage earners from the direct tax changes. Taking into account the water charges the ESRI have confirmed that poorer households will lose out from Budget 2015 while richer households will gain.

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Permanent link | Categories: Government SpendingMacroeconomicsTaxation

The Shifts and the Shocks

Posted on October 10, 2014 by Tom Healy

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

My review of Martin Wolf's book, The Shifts and the Shocks, was published recently in the Irish Times. The book provides a timely and serious analysis of the global situation and outlines some pointers about what needs to happen next if we are not to be condemned to permanent stagnation. Read the full review here

Permanent link | Categories: Macroeconomics

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.

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Permanent link | Categories: MacroeconomicsTaxation

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