Tag Archives | Economy

Martina Anderson MEP: “and if the British government lifts its ban on Executive access to the EIB…”

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No update yet from Sinn Féin on the meeting they chose to trail a couple of days ago between three of their MEPs, led by the Derry Northern Ireland representative, Martina Anderson, and “the Vice-Chairman of the European Investment Bank (EIB) Jonathan Taylor”.  But let’s hope they were better briefed than the 15 July press release suggests, more…

“That is not a state of affairs they would expect to find in a competently run country.”

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Riffing on the row over Garth Brooks’ non-concerts in Croke Park that has consumed local media attention, in the Irish Times John McManus has some pertinent points to make about the long-running saga of who controls the former Quinn Group companies – and the accompanying campaign of attacks and intimidation. In recent weeks one consortium, Quinn Business Retention more…

HBO’s Michael Lombardo: “Belfast is not the most cosmopolitan of cities to spend half of the year.”

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With so much of some Northern Ireland Executive ministers‘ time and effort [and other people's money! - Ed] focused on exploiting the international success of HBO’s Game of Thrones to promote Northern Ireland overseas, it’s perhaps unfortunate, but refreshing, that HBO’s director of programming, Michael Lombardo, has given an honest answer to a straight question – as more…

Tourism figures for 2013 bring us down to earth

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The figures for tourism to Northern Ireland in 2013 out last week show a more modest reality than the hype suggesting it’s just about the most visited place on the planet. The numbers visiting from overseas amounted to just 9,000.  Home holidays and short trips and family visits accounted for most of the rest. It’s not more…

The route to better government is clear. Why don’t the parties take it?

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Nuff history  – Ed.  Thanks to Alan and Chris Donnelly for presenting significant data on how Northern Ireland is faring. The third CRC Peace Monitoring Report by Dr Paul Nolan reads  authoritatively, quite depressingly and utterly unsurprisingly. At around the same time, some polls have been published which broadly reflect the results but with the more…

Aventas: “These scandalous attacks orchestrated by a small group of criminals and their equally criminal sponsors…”

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As the BBC reports, Lagan Cement Group has suffered damage of more than 1m euros (£820,000) in three separate attacks. The attacks followed the announcement that Lagan was buying, subject to approval, Rooftiles in County Fermanagh from the Aventas Group. The arson attacks at Lisburn, County Antrim, Comber, County Down, and Carrigtwohill, County Cork, are more…

Could raising the minimum wage hurt NI?

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Last week the Tories did do a masterful job of combining their message of a growing economy with fairness by arguing that the minimum wage should rise from £6.31p to £7 per hour. As the IMF pointed out today prospects for the British economy are looking better but we have to remember that Britain is more…

“How many times has a labour movement supported a liberation movement, only to find itself betrayed on the day of liberation?”

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Speaking of dissent…  The death of Nelson Mandela appears to have opened the door to some potentially significant criticism of the current leadership of the ANC.  As the BBC reports, the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa), the largest trade union in South Africa, has withdrawn its support for the ruling party of government.  From the BBC more…

Lough Neagh Working Group: “This report may never see the light of day.”

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As the Belfast Telegraph reports, having set up a inter-departmental Working Group by September last year, “to explore and pursue actively the potential for a cross-departmental approach to bring Lough Neagh back into public ownership”, the Northern Ireland Minister for Agriculture and Rural Development, Sinn Fein’s Michelle O’Neill has lost the group’s report down the back of the more…

Local businesses as a way to a shared future?

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Found this interesting piece in today’s Newsletter by the Chairman of the Antrim Road Traders Association, Paul Carlin who has been writing about his experiences as a businessman in Northern Ireland. Carlin makes some interesting points about how local businesses can play a direct role in improving within communities through creating jobs and getting people more…

The population continues to rise but so does the brain drain

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The UK is experiencing a baby boom as the number of births hits the highest level in 40 years, according to mid year figures just out.  Only a small fraction of the country’s higher population is now due to foreign immigration.  In Northern Ireland where the population has continued to increase, more people left than more…

Louth County Council Suspend Narrow Water Bridge Project

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Looks like the Northern Ireland Finance Minister’s caution was justified.  As the BBC report Plans to build a cross-border-bridge between Northern Ireland and the Irish Republic have been put on hold. Louth County Council said tenders had been significantly above the figure expected for the Narrow Water bridge project, leading it to halt it. RTÉ has the more…

Permanent revolution by facebook is replacing ideology

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Why are demos and riots breaking out all over? It’s the economy stupid. But Newsnight’s Paul Mason has a contemporary twist, writing in the Independent to give a taster for his book Why It’s Kicking Off Everywhere: The New Global Revolutions’ Velocity of information matters as much as action itself. It is striking how badly more…

Let’s praise David Cameron for creating a brilliant showcase

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First of all there was the simple pleasure at Lough Erne looking wonderful, an English friend saying  “didn’t Enniskillen look beautiful” and even the rain staying off, mostly.  I admit I was chuffed to see Jon Snow presenting lakeside “fresh in from Iran.. on a beautiful Fermanagh evening.” And never mind Obama. Unfashionable as it more…

Giant’s Causeway dispute heightens

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The plot thickens over the controversial plan to build a golf course and hotel complex  at Runkerry just outside the perimeter of the Giant’s Causeway World Heritage site. Now UNESCO which awards this designation  is weighing in behind the National Trust to try to stop it. From memory this is land the behind the lovely more…