CLAIM: The current negotiated deal for the UK leaving the EU outlines no forms, checks, or barriers of any kind for goods leaving Northern Ireland to Great Britain.
CONCLUSION: INACCURATE WITH CONSIDERATION. While no customs export declaration forms would be required (as Northern Ireland will remain in a UK-wide customs area), exit summary declarations will be required to move goods between Northern Ireland and Great Britain. These declarations represent a new intervention, in addition to existing checks. Continue reading Does Brexit deal mean no forms to access Great Britain?
CLAIM: Northern Ireland requires a 660% uplift in government expenditure to be equal to the European Union average of 2.2%
CONCLUSION: INACCURATE. UK government expenditure on cultural services (measured by Eurostat) is just over half of the EU average. Within the UK, public expenditure in Northern Ireland is less than half than in Scotland, Wales, and England. However, Arts Matter Northern Ireland uses European statistics that reach beyond the arts, and make an invalid comparison between EU figures and public expenditure arts spend within the UK. Continue reading Do Northern Ireland arts need a 660% uplift in government funding?
CLAIM: 20,000 people marched for a pro-life event in Belfast on 7 September 2019.
CONCLUSION: UNSUBSTANTIATED. The figure provided by the event organiser cannot be substantiated. However, the accompanying rally event at Custom House Square could not have been attended by more than the venue capacity of 5,000 people. Continue reading Did 20,000 people participate in an anti-abortion march in Belfast?
CLAIM: 105,486 people were waiting over a year for a consultant-led outpatient appointment in Northern Ireland, which is 100 times more than in England, with its population 30 times greater.
CONCLUSION: ACCURATE. 105,486 and 1,089 people were waiting over a year for a consultant-led outpatient appointment in Northern Ireland and England, respectively. The estimated population of Northern Ireland and England is 55,977,178 and 1,881,600, respectively. Continue reading Northern Ireland outpatient waiting lists 100 times more than England’s?
CLAIM: Thousands of tonnes of slurry are being spread on farmland, all due to exporting pork to China, according to Channel 4 News.
CONCLUSION: UNSUBSTANTIATED. The export of 1,450 pigs would represent 1,000 tonnes of slurry (based on an estimate of 957,495 tonnes p.a.). Tonnage figures for pork exports from Northern Ireland are unavailable. A secondary claim that “there’ll soon be as many pigs as people in Northern Ireland” is inaccurate; there were 633,600 pigs in 2018 and the mid-year 2018 population of Northern Ireland was 1,881,600. Continue reading Thousands of tonnes of slurry for pork for China?
When fact-checking isn’t about “right” or “wrong”
by WACC Global
16 September 2019
The rise of “fake news” charges and deliberate disinformation have led to an important counter effort: fact-checking. News agencies, civil society organisations, and concerned individuals have taken on the fight for “truth” – assessing political claims and struggling to prevent misinformation guiding our decisions and behaviour. Continue reading When fact-checking isn’t about “right” or “wrong” (WACC Global)