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Did the early collapse of the Executive leave £334m public money sitting on a shelf?

At least £334m in public funds for 2022-23 is currently gathering dust. No clear way to allocate this money exists without an Executive in place. Although some unusual bureaucratic fixes

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Are children entitled to free school meals 29 percentage points less likely than their peers to get good GCSEs? Has this attainment gap barely closed in over a decade?

Data shows that in 2018-2019, 49.5% of FSME school leavers had at least five GCSEs including English and maths, compared to 78.5% of their non-FSME peers – a gap of

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Do most UUP voters intend to transfer to nationalist parties ahead of other unionists in the May elections?

Only 7% of UUP voters plan to switch to a nationalist party first, according to the survey. While 31% say their first move will be to Alliance, that isn’t a

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Is the UK ranked 14th in Europe for the number of asylum seekers it processes and accepts?

Figures for 2020 show that the UK was 20th among Euro nations for asylum applications received per head of population, and 19th for applications granted. The UK did receive six

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Do 20% of EU customs checks take place in the Irish Sea?

It is unclear how this figure was calculated. Neither the DUP, DAERA nor the European Commission could confirm the figure. On 14 January 2022, the DUP published a document, “7

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Is there a 50% chance of hospitalisation with Omicron if you don’t get a COVID-19 booster jab?

Data published by the UK Health Security Agency at the time of the claim suggested that with two doses, vaccine effectiveness against hospitalisation due to Omicron was 52%. However, vaccine

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Economic effects of the Northern Ireland Protocol

While economic models are a recognised way of using simple frameworks to illustrate complex processes, they are often based on assumptions and are ultimately tested over time by actual economic

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Does Northern Ireland have the highest number of children in care since 1995?

In January 2022, 3,566 children in Northern Ireland were recorded as being in care, which is the highest recorded figure since 1995, according to Department of Health statistics which have

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Changes in the Highway Code in Northern Ireland

Facebook Groups like the Ulster Roadwatch Community, newspapers like The Impartial Reporter, and the BBC News website have been sharing information inferring that the changes apply right across the United

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Has the economy in Derry/Londonderry contracted 21% since 2007?

This claim is inaccurate. Since 2007, economic output in the Derry and Strabane area has grown by 15% whether measured by Gross Value Added (GVA) or Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

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Is what Northern Ireland buys from Great Britain four times more valuable than from Ireland?

This claim is accurate. In 2019, the ratio of the estimated total value of Northern Ireland purchases from Great Britain (£13.4bn) to purchases from Ireland (£3.0bn) was 4.5:1. The ratio

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COVID-19 and face masks/coverings

What is the guidance on face coverings in Northern Ireland? The Northern Ireland Executive announced that the use of face coverings in certain indoor settings would become mandatory from 10

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