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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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2014Jul
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Property market recovery 'could take years'
2014-07-09
Dr Esmond Birnie, PwC's chief economist for NI, said: "Our nominal property price projections for the UK and its regions suggest that it could be at least 2024 before Northern Ireland property prices return to their pre-crisis levels. "Interest rates ...
(U.TV)

    Jun
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    Family inflation boost as shops launch price wars
    2014-06-18
    PwC chief economist Dr Esmond Birnie said everyday goods were coming down in price – but real earnings growth was still far off as inflation was still above the 0.7% rate of wage increases. "Food and non-alcoholic beverages fell by 0.6% year-on-year in ...
    (Belfast Telegraph)
    1. Now there is more money in our pockets...

    May
    Mar
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    3 votes
    Northern Ireland's recovery lagging behind rest of UK
    2014-03-20
    However, PwC economist Esmond Birnie said the jobs data offer a fillip for the Northern Ireland economy, particularly an growth in employment in the manufacturing and services sectors. "Collectively the employment and output data strongly supports our ...
    (Belfast Telegraph)
    1. Budget: Signs Northern Ireland faces fraught finances in future
    2. Chancellor slashes Northern Ireland's slice of the pie

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    3 votes
    PwC: Northern Ireland's poorest '£1000 a year worse off'
    2014-03-11
    Esmond Birnie from PwC said there is evidence Northern Ireland has been "disproportionally impacted by high energy prices". 'Slower rate'. More people are in fuel poverty in Northern Ireland than other parts of the UK. According to the report, the ...
    (BBC News)
    1. NI Poorest 'Suffered Most' During Downturn

    Feb
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    More robust growth still needed with export trade
    2014-02-19
    Home› Business› Business Opinion›. More robust growth still needed with export trade. Comments. Email; Print; Font Size. By Dr Esmond Birnie – 19 February 2014. This is the seventh successive monthly fall in inflation and reflected some very aggressive ...
    (Belfast Telegraph)
    1. Inflation rate falls below 2% for first time since 2009