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The Impact of Austerity Income, Poverty & Deprivation on the Island of Ireland. IHREC & NIHRC Conference Friday 16 th of May. Paul Mac Flynn NERI ( Nevin Economic Research Institute) Belfast Paul.macflynn@nerinstitute.net. Austerity in Northern Ireland . How has austerity affected NI?

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the impact of austerity income poverty deprivation on the island of ireland

The Impact of AusterityIncome, Poverty & Deprivation on the Island of Ireland

IHREC & NIHRC Conference Friday 16th of May

Paul Mac Flynn

NERI (NevinEconomic Research Institute)

Belfast

Paul.macflynn@nerinstitute.net

austerity in northern ireland
Austerity in Northern Ireland
  • How has austerity affected NI?
    • Block grant
      • 13.2% real terms reduction 2010/11 – 2015/16. Largest of any UK region
    • Welfare Reform
      • Yet to be apportioned, financial envelope decided. Estimates of macro impact up to £750m annually. (some already implemented)
    • Public Sector Pay Freeze
      • Disproportionately affects NI, real terms pay cut
austerity in northern ireland1
Austerity in Northern Ireland
  • Wider Macro impacts throughout economy
  • Further Reductions beyond 2015.
    • Benefit cap
    • Block grant reductions to 2017/18
  • Effect of Austerity
    • Still to be felt, data available up to 2011/12
poverty in northern ireland
Poverty in Northern Ireland
  • Data available for Absolute and Relative Poverty
    • Relative Poverty – incomes less than 60% of UK median
    • Absolute Poverty – incomes less than 60% of inflation adjusted UK median income of previous year
deprivation
Deprivation
  • Measures of poverty are sensitive to changes in the income distribution.
  • Deprivation gives more realistic assessment of circumstances
  • Better figures in Republic
  • Latest overall figures for NI in 2010
multiple deprivation in ni
Multiple Deprivation in NI
  • Income
  • Employment
  • Health Deprivation & Disability
  • Education Skills & Training
  • Proximity to Services
  • Living Environment
  • Crime & Disorder
deprivation in ni
Deprivation in NI
  • Income
  • Employment
  • Health Deprivation & Disability
  • Education Skills & Training
  • Proximity to Services
  • Living Environment
  • Crime & Disorder
effects of austerity on incomes
Effects of Austerity on Incomes
  • All components of income
    • Earnings
    • Benefits
    • Pension income
    • Investment income
  • Austerity effects net incomes through
    • Changes to tax and benefit rates
    • Earnings – directly in public sector, indirectly in private sector
drivers of poverty and inequality
Drivers of Poverty and Inequality
  • Reduction in public services
  • Withdrawal or reduction in cash benefits
  • Reduction in earnings
  • Key group affected – the “working poor”
    • Group have seen wages fall at the same time they have borne the brunt of welfare reform through reduced tax credits
drivers of poverty and inequality1
Drivers of Poverty and Inequality
  • Median Hourly pay rates in Northern Ireland, 2006-2013 (£stg)
low pay in ni
Low Pay in NI
  • Percentage Earning at or below Minimum Wage or ⅔ of Median Wage 2007-2013
low pay in ni1
Low Pay in NI
  • Official measure of low pay suffers same disadvantages as measure of relative poverty
  • No evidence that those earning above 2/3 of median wage are in anyway comfortable
    • Not enough to lift people above 60% of median income or 2/3 of the median wage. Achieving this would be pointless if same individual still deprived of basic needs
  • Like deprivation, Living wage seeks to measure low pay with reference to basic needs
  • 25% in NI earn below Living wage, disproportionately affects women, young people and those working in certain industries
low pay in ni2
Low Pay in NI
  • Percentage earning below Living Wage by industrial Sub Sector, Northern Ireland2013
rights
Rights
  • Economic and Social rights
    • Hard to define a ‘right to fair pay’
    • Right to a living wage
    • Right to minimum guaranteed hours of work
    • Right to collective bargaining
  • Access to public services and to appropriate benefits are crucial, but austerity’s indirect impacts can be just as destructive.