The Question is: Northern Irish Economy

The Question is: Northern Irish Economy

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Belfast, Havelock House




Transmission 03/12/1988


25min 05sec




1 inch



Digitised as part of the UTV Archive Partnership Project (ITV, Northern Ireland Screen and PRONI)


Department for Communities, ITV, Public Record Office of Northern Ireland

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Presented by Barry Cowan, this is a series attempting to answer some of Northern Ireland's (NI) - and life's - burning questions, with this episode looking at the current state of the Northern Irish Economy and whether it is all "doom and gloom". 

On the panel helping to answer this, is Bob Rowthorn [Cambridge University and a "student of the Northern Irish Economy"], Graham Grudgin [Head of the Northern Ireland Economic Research Centre] and John Simpson [Economic Commentator]. 

Bob raises the issue of NI's dangerous dependancy on cross channel cash and theorises that this is sapping "our enthusiasm and creativity to create our own economic climate". He also references the minor boom on Belfast high-street as being sales from imported goods and that the underlying economic base of NI hasn't increased its production at all. 

Though hesitant to commit fully to Bob's pessimistic view, Graham agrees that the long term indicators aren't rosy, however this is a "stable problem" as NI has always been very dependent on money coming from British tax payers. 

John raises other points, such as, how we would be at a much higher level of unemployment if money was not coming from outside NI and that we are not a typical British region as there is the history of violence for the past 20 years. On the other side of the coin, if you have a job here your living standard is probably higher than the same in the South of England but on the flip side those in poverty in NI are about 6% more so than their counterparts across the water.

Concluding the episode is a debate on where money should be invested instead to increase job creation and wealth for the province.  



A UTV Production.

Director: Mervyn Waugh

Editor: Jamie Delargy 



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