Is full-time paid maternity leave in the UK one of the lowest in Europe?

CLAIM: The provision of full-time (equivalent) maternity pay in the UK is among the lowest in Europe.

CONCLUSION: ACCURATE. In an OECD report, the UK ranked 9th lowest of 33 European countries for “full-rate equivalent” paid maternity leave. Including home care leave (childcare), the UK ranks 4th lowest in Europe. Continue reading Is full-time paid maternity leave in the UK one of the lowest in Europe?

Is public spending in Northern Ireland 45% higher than in Ireland?

CLAIM: Public spending in Northern Ireland is 45% higher than it is in Ireland.

CONCLUSION: INACCURATE WITH CONSIDERATION. Using public expenditure as a measure of public spending, total public expenditure per person in Northern Ireland in 2015–16 was 10% higher than in Ireland. More recently, it was lower than in Ireland. As a part of national output (GDP), government consumption contributed an estimated 45% more, per person, in Northern Ireland than it did in Ireland. But government consumption excludes aspects of spending, like investment in roads and social welfare. Continue reading Is public spending in Northern Ireland 45% higher than in Ireland?

Does Ireland have the fastest growing economy in the Eurozone?

CLAIM: Ireland has the fastest growing economy in the Eurozone.

CONCLUSION: ACCURATE. According to the most recent annual figures, Ireland has the highest annual rate of GDP growth (both as an absolute figure and if adjusted for the size of population) of the 19 countries in the Eurozone. However, Ireland is ranked lower if other economic measures, such as Gross National Income are considered. Continue reading Does Ireland have the fastest growing economy in the Eurozone?

Are UK passports produced by non-UK companies?

CLAIM: UK passports are produced by non-UK companies.

CONCLUSION: ACCURATE WITH CONSIDERATION. The new (blue) UK passport is produced by Thales Group (headquartered in France). However, passports will be personalised with the holder’s details in the UK. Continue reading Are UK passports produced by non-UK companies?

Must the next electoral canvass be done by 2023?

CLAIM: The next electoral canvass in Northern Ireland must be completed before 2023, ten years after the 2013 canvass.

CONCLUSION: INACCURATE WITH CONSIDERATION. Legislation lists the years in which a canvass must be completed. It is specific that a canvass is due in 2021, with the subsequent one in 2030 and then every following ten years unless the Act is amended. An ad hoc canvass in intervening years does not reset the need for these end of decade canvasses. Continue reading Must the next electoral canvass be done by 2023?

Is Northern Ireland one of the most locked-down places in the world?

CLAIM: Northern Ireland is one of the most “locked-down” places in the world.

CONCLUSION: ACCURATE. According to a “Government Stringency Index”, the UK has one of the strictest lockdown policies in the world, but the Northern Ireland Executive’s response is not the strictest within the UK. Continue reading Is Northern Ireland one of the most locked-down places in the world?