Topic Archives: Economy

LIVE from 1pm: #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…

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

To pay or not to pay water charges was the question of the week for the southern wing of Sinn Féin.  In the north, things are completely different…  Under pressure from former MEP Paul Murphy of the Anti-Austerity Alliance, the party’s candidate in today’s by-election in Dublin South West, Cllr Cathal King, had majored heavily more…

Kicking the [financial] can down the road, again.

According to the BBC’s Mark Devenport, The Treasury has been asked to supply Stormont with a one-off loan of between £100m and £150m to ease its budgetary crisis, the BBC understands. According to the reports, the proposal was discussed with the UK Treasury by the NI First Minister, the DUP leader Peter Robinson, and the more…

Is Stormont fit to take the gamble on a lower corporation tax?

The economist James Stewart of Trinity College Dublin  has revealed details of the extent of legal tax dodging  (£) involved in the Republic’s tax much vaunted 12.5% business tax rate in the Financial Times He argues that  the Republic’s government seems not be aware that a vast quantity of profits  are not subject to corporation tax anywhere more…

Time to call Sinn Fein’s bluff over welfare

John Simpson, an economist who deserves to be trusted, dismissed the Great Welfare  Crisis as essentially bogus months  ago – yet his analysis seems to have failed to pass into political  debate and comment from the Business pages.   It might help if  critics of Sinn Fein’s grandstanding spoke on the basis  of an agreed analysis. OFFICIAL Treasury more…

The UN Secretary General’s Climate Summit

At the frontline during the UN Climate Summit

Where does the Climate Change Summit sit in the context of a Post-2015 Climate Agreement? When the Secretary-General of the United Nations, Ban Ki-Moon, took to the streets of New York with 300,000 climate change demonstrators – in parallel with one hundred protest actions around the world – he was signalling a decisive new phase more…

Ivan Lewis (shadow SoS) sets up Heenan-Anderson commission to address worklessness & intergenerational poverty

Ivan Lewis

English MPs with an interest in Northern Ireland are coming along like buses today. Labour MP and Shadow Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, Ivan Lewis delivered a speech to the Labour party conference in Manchester this afternoon. He joked that the city was home “to three institutions in serious decline … the Tory party, more…

Aggregate spend in Belfast is probably higher than any other UK city

Haven’t got time to unpack this properly, but I think this is important insight from Mike Morrissey on why despite very high funding levels tackling poverty in Northern Ireland is simply not working… Mainstream service spending per head in Northern Ireland is about 20 per cent greater than the UK  while the region has also more…

#IndyRef: In a battle for a nation’s hearts and minds it has to be both…

Now, this is interesting. It’s a fairly aggressive question from the BBC’s Nick Robinson on “why a Scottish voter should believe you, a politician, against men who are responsible for billions of pounds profit?”… Not his greatest moment implying as it does an ad hominen appeal to absent and unaccountable authority (a classic of the more…

#IndyRef ‘If the cost of failure is high, optimism is the wrong strategy’

The truth is that most of the commentary around the Scottish referendum is purely speculative, and built on passion and subjective personal belief. Polls merely tell us that the argument is real and has critical resonances in the wider population. They don’t tell us who’s going to win. One of the most interesting individual ‘takes’ more…

#IndyRef: City of London finally wakes up to possibility of losing Edinburgh (and more importantly the EU)…

Just to finish the week on Scotland (aye, there’s more next week with the start of a mini series we’re calling #IndyRef’s Elephant Traps), with this from Chris Blackhurst in the London Evening Standard… …the City has finally woken up to the Scottish referendum and the serious possibility of a Yes victory. We know that more…

The #indyref essential count guide.

The last major debate happened between Alex Salmond and Alastair Darling last night and commentators where flying with debates about who won (yes, some poor buggars thought Darling did win). Yet, very few people seem to know just what exactly the process for the count will be and providing the public service that we do more…