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Dr John Esmond Birnie, is an author, economist, and Ulster Unionist Party politician. He is a former Member of the Northern Ireland Assembly (MLA) for South Belfast.
After attending Ballymena Primary School and Ballymena Academy, Birnie became a graduate of Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge in Economics. He completed a PhD in Economics at Queens University Belfast before becoming a senior lecturer.
He has appeared as an expert economics witness in the House of Commons and is a leading critic of the euro.
He was an unsuccessful Conservative Party candidate in the elections to Belfast City Council for Balmoral in the 1993 Northern Ireland Local Election. In the 2005 Northern Ireland Local Election, he stood again for Balmoral, this time for the Ulster Unionist Party and failed to get elected by 0.95 votes on the final count. Birnie was also second on the Conservative regional list for the 1996 Forum Election, but was not elected as the party was 12th most popular in electoral support, and only the top 10 parties were eligible for two top up seats.
He was elected to the Northern Ireland Assembly in 1998. During the Assembly he was Chairman of the Assembly's Employment and Learning Committee. He retained his seat in 2003 but lost it in the 2007 elections. He was then employed as a special advisor to Employment and Learning Minister, ... » Read more on Wikipedia.org

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2011Dec
Nov
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Osborne's Autumn cash boost welcomed
2011-11-30
PricewaterhouseCooper chief economist Dr Esmond Birnie said that while Northern Ireland has been promised around £140m over the next three years, the Executive may not get all the cash. "Under the Barnett Formula, Northern Ireland should get around ...
(Belfast Telegraph)
  1. NI to receive extra £134m for public services

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Rise in elderly population and spiralling costs 'pushing care system to ...
2011-11-21
Dr Esmond Birnie, PwC chief economist in Northern Ireland, said the provision of care is “falling behind” and the situation can't continue. He stated: “Around £440m of public funding was devoted to the social care system for older people in Northern ...
(Belfast Telegraph)
  1. Elderly face cost of 'broken' care system

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PWC predicts NI growth 'elusive'
2011-11-15
PwC's chief economist Dr Esmond Birnie says external factors and reduced public spending are having an adverse effect on the local private sector. Dr Birnie says confidence remains low driven by global and domestic issues. He claims uncertainty in the ...
(Irish Times)
  1. Gloomy report cuts economic growth outlook for Northern Ireland
  2. More gloomy news for NI economy

Oct
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4000 NI public sector jobs lost
2011-10-20
"This year has seen considerable turmoil in the world economy and in financial markets leading to significantly slower UK growth than had been expected a year ago", Dr Esmond Birnie, Chief Economist at PwC in Belfast said. "This may have been amplified ...
(U.TV)
  1. Public sector lost 4000 jobs in one year, says report

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Esmond Birnie: An economic strategy that's the last throw of the dice
2011-10-06
By Esmond Birnie WHEN the three months to June saw an 0.8 per cent fall in consumer spending, a 1.2 per cent slide in production output and services output at a mere 0.2 per cent, it was clear that UK recovery was, to put it politely, stalling. ...
(Scotsman)
  1. MPC meet in bid to solve riddle of UK economy