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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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2013Nov
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PwC: NI economy set to grow at fastest rate since 2007
2013-11-28
PwC's chief economist in NI, Esmond Birnie, said: "Compared to the past four years, there is a distinct whiff of recovery in the air." In August, the Bank of England said it would not consider raising interest rates until the UK's unemployment rate hit 7%.
(BBC News)
  1. Northern Ireland's economy finally showing signs of sparking into life

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Value of wages 'drops for sixth year'
2013-11-07
Dr Esmond Birnie, PWC's chief economist in NI, said: "Looking ahead, we don't expect positive real earnings growth to resume until 2015 and even then only at a modest pace; with consumer spending projected to grow by around 2% in 2013 and around ...
(U.TV)
  1. NI workers face drop in value of wages for sixth year

Aug
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PwC: NI house prices may take decade to recover from crash
2013-08-14
Its Northern Ireland chief economist, Dr Esmond Birnie, said it could be 2025 before prices again reach 2007 levels. His analysis comes as another house price survey has suggested the troubled NI housing market is stabilising. The University of Ulster ...
(BBC News)
  1. Northern Ireland's economy 'in slow recovery'
  2. Property market in the North will take 12 years to revover, economists claim