Do 77% of mothers face discrimination at work?

CLAIM: 77% of working mothers endure some kind of discrimination.

CONCLUSION: Misleading. It is correct for mothers in Great Britain (England, Scotland and Wales) but the statistic stated on BBC Radio Ulster does not apply to women in Northern Ireland. However, women here do report having felt discriminated in the workplace due to being pregnant or a mother: 36% of mothers report feeling they were treated unfairly, and 50% of mothers believing their career opportunities are worse than before pregnancy. Continue reading Do 77% of mothers face discrimination at work?

Has low childcare provision caused a low female employment rate?

CLAIM: Low childcare provision contributes to low levels of female employment in Northern Ireland.

CONCLUSION: The claim may be misleading. While childcare provision is more limited in Northern Ireland than in Great Britain, and female employment rates are lower in Northern Ireland than the UK average, there is insufficient evidence of a causal link between childcare provision and female (versus maternal) employment in this case. According to the most recently available data, Northern Ireland actually has higher maternal employment rates than the UK average. Continue reading Has low childcare provision caused a low female employment rate?

How dependent is Stormont on Westminster subvention?

CLAIM: Northern Ireland were once net contributors of revenue to HM Treasury.

CONCLUSION: True, up until the 1930s. But data show that Northern Ireland has run a fiscal deficit since 1966. The most recent figure, from 2013-14, is a subvention of £9.2 billion. Continue reading How dependent is Stormont on Westminster subvention?

Would Brexit lead to a customs frontier?

CLAIM: A customs frontier between Ireland and Northern Ireland land border is unavoidable in the event of a United Kingdom withdrawal from the European Union.

CONCLUSION: There is no non-EU member state that currently has a customs-free border with the EU, even if they are members of the Schengen Area and maintain the free movement of people. There is no existing model that would permit the continued lack of a customs frontier in Northern Ireland if the UK left the EU. Continue reading Would Brexit lead to a customs frontier?