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ARINS podcast episode 4: What exactly is the Northern Ireland subvention?

07 October 2021

In this episode, John Doyle and John FitzGerald discuss the subject of the UK financial ‘subvention’ to Northern Ireland, which has been dominating the public debate on the economics of a united Ireland.

The public debate on the economics of a united Ireland has been dominated by constant references to the UK financial ‘subvention’ to Northern Ireland. UK government statistics report the gap between taxation raised in Northern Ireland and public expenditure there at almost £10 billion, which has raised questions about the sustainability of the cost of a united Ireland. In episode 4, John Doyle and John FitzGerald analyse the most significant elements of the subvention.

The ARINS podcast goes live on the first Thursday of each month and episodes are available on SoundCloudSpotify and Apple Podcasts.

You can read John Doyle's paper 'Why the "Subvention" does not Matter: Northern Ireland and the All-Ireland Economy', as it appears in Irish Studies in International Affairs, at

John Doyle is the Director of the Institute for International Conflict Resolution and Reconstruction at Dublin City University.
John FitzGerald, MRIA, is the former Head of the Macroeconomics and Resource Economics Division at the Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI.)

About the series 

This podcast series provides evidence-based research and analysis on the most significant questions of policy and public debate facing the island of Ireland, north and south. Host Rory Montgomery, MRIA, talks to authors of articles on topics such as cross border health co-operation; the need to regulate social media in referendums, education, cultural affairs and constitutional questions and the imperative for good data and the need to carry out impartial research. New episodes are released on the first Thursday of every month and can be found on our SoundCloud channel or any podcast platform.

About the project 

ARINS: Analysing and Researching Ireland North and South brings together experts to provide evidence-based research and analysis on the most significant questions of policy and public debate facing the island of Ireland, north and south. The project publishes, facilitates and disseminates research on the challenges and opportunities presented to the island in a post-Brexit context, with the intention of contributing to an informed public discourse. More information can be found at

ARINS is a joint project of The Royal Irish Academy, an all-island body, and the Keough-Naughton Institute for Irish Studies at Notre Dame's Keough School of Global Affairs.

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