Topic Archives: Economy

Gerry Adams: “There is a clear need for more innovative and forward-looking politics…”

By which, the passive-aggressive Sinn Féin president actually means, the SDLP must join Sinn Féin in a sectarian electoral pact in “the next Westminster and Assembly elections”, and the year after that, and the year after that… because… themmuns! To paraphrase, if Sinn Féin can get away with treating all future Northern Ireland elections as a glorified pissing contest more…

Devo Max with corporate tax cut ” disastrous” for NI

This powerful case against the SNP’s Devo Max plans including a 3% cut in corporation tax is made in the academic  website The Conversation by  Arthur Midwinter Associate Professor, Institute of Public Sector Accounting Research at University of Edinburgh  and a former adviser to the former Labour leader in the Scottish Parliament  Johann Lamont. It more…

The attraction of Ireland to (US) Multinationals – Is it the weather?

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As part of our series of posts on the economy, retired Irish Civil Servant Niall MacSuibhne (formerly the Irish Revenue dept) writes this post on the how the republic attracts so many US Companies to Ireland.  “Ireland works.”, a tax director from PwC once said to me. “It isn’t the lowest tax rate around, it isn’t the cheapest location in more…

If we are going to have cuts, let’s start at the top…

Time to reduce MLA's?Photo by: Dom0803

We received this letter from a Senior Civil Servant, we are republishing it in full. There has been significant talk over these past few days on the budget cuts and the impact these will have on the public sector. However before we all jump to our usual stereotypical conclusions I would like to present my more…

We’re just managing poverty (and those who experience it) rather than tackling and overcoming it

This is my response to an article on Slugger O’Toole describing welfare reform as the “horror show“. The article itself was excellent, in the sense that it gave an entirely fair commentary of many of the opinions held on welfare reform (albeit limited to a particular, often unrepresentative sector). However, most of these are based more…

Hamilton: “When faced with tough choices, we have made the right choices and chosen the best interests of the people of Northern Ireland”

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Two days ago Finance Minister, Simon Hamilton MLA presented his draft budget. Writing exclusively for Slugger, he argues that in this budget he has done what is right for Northern Ireland Constructing a Budget at any time is always a challenge. There is never enough money to spend on public services to meet all of more…

CNBC: Ireland we hardly knew ye!

I know we like to think that our wee island packs a punch beyond its size, but any illusion that we are a household name kind of comes crashing down with one interview on one of America’s most respected financial networks CNBC. If you have not been following this story, the Chief Executive of the more…

#ChallengingRacism report dispels migrant myths

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In a publication that is reminiscent of the NI Peace Monitoring Reporting, two QUB academics have collated statistics across a range of topics – population, employment, housing, benefits, economy, healthcare, education, crime and social cohesion – in order to dispel (rather than substantiate) some of the myths about migrants. UKIP’s MLA David McNarry challenged some more…

“Are you going to pay your water charges, Gerry?” – Redux

The Sinn Féin president, Gerry Adams, TD, would like to change his previous answer to the question.  Again.  Here’s his new new position on water charges “Sinn Féin is standing firmly with those families and hard pressed citizens who very simply cannot pay the Government’s water tax. As a mark of solidarity, I have decided that more…

Financial (and other) chickens coming home to roost

An Ulster Unionist MLA once described Green Party leader Steven Agnew to me as a younger Jim Allister with longer hair and less talent. That has often looked harsh but maybe true. However Sam McBride in the News Letter has an excellent piece quoting Agnew on the more fundamental causes of the current financial crisis more…

#SluggerTalks on the future potential of Northern Ireland

So today, we bring back the #digitallunch video format only this time we are calling it #SluggerTalks. Tomorrow’s will be the first in a series of two handers between myself and Shane Greer discussing some of the points raised in response to his post last week on what we might do to unlock Northern Ireland’s Tremendous more…

North -South is a political gift going a-begging

Two cheers to the Financial Times (£) for giving space to one of the many topics that people in Northern Ireland who live close to it take for granted but shouldn’t. The story is headlined “Irish two-speed economy puts integration under pressure”. Sixteen years after the signing of the Good Friday Agreement that ushered in a more…

How do we unlock Northern Ireland’s tremendous potential?

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I still remember the spring of 2001. The palpable excitement I felt about something I’d dreamed of since my adolescence and, with sixth form drawing to a close, was finally in a position to realise: leaving Northern Ireland. I was one of the almost 18,000 who emigrated that year, a number that rose to just more…