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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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2012Dec
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4 votes
Inflation and price hikes hit festive shoppers
2012-12-19
Dr Esmond Birnie, PwC chief economist in Belfast, said inflation had remained above the Bank's 2% target for more than three years and, until May 2012, had not fallen below 3% for 29 months. "There is still little sign of inflation moving towards the ...
(Belfast Telegraph)
  1. Inflation respite 'only brief'

Sep
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3 votes
Northern Ireland unemployment figures stand at 8.2%
2012-09-12
Dr Esmond Birnie, PricewaterhouseCooper's (PwC) chief economist in Northern Ireland said that, despite unemployment creeping up, some new employment was being created. "In the last quarter Northern Ireland created around 2,000 new employee jobs, ...
(BBC News)
  1. NI Unemployment Rate Creeps Above UK Average

Aug
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2 votes
NI private sector jobs fall by 11000
2012-08-07
Dr Esmond Birnie, chief economist at PwC in Northern Ireland, said: "The problem is that ... our historic reliance on steady public spending growth means that Westminster's austerity programme is hampering the Northern Ireland Executive's ability to ...
(Knowledge to Action)
  1. PwC Economic Outlook finds NI lost 11000 jobs in two years
  2. Thousands Of Jobs Disappear In NI Private Sector
  3. North's economy facing 'serious problems'

Jul
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2 votes
Experts warn that latest QE measures may not be able to save UK
2012-07-06
Dr Esmond Birnie, chief economist to business advisers PwC in Northern Ireland, said: "The decision to restart QE is not unexpected, but it is unlikely to be effective by itself in supporting economic growth and indeed may even hold back a much needed ...
(Belfast Telegraph)
  1. Bank's extra £50bn QE 'can't solve economic problems alone'
  2. Bank of England prints more money: Printing an extra £50bn for UK economy ...