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Do far more young people in Northern Ireland have no qualifications, compared with peers in England?
23 November 2022

CLAIM: Based on figures from 2015, an average of 6.3% of young people across the nine regions of England had no qualifications - compared with 10.4% of those in NI.

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ACCURATE WITH CONSIDERATION

This statistic is accurate, based on analysis from a recent research paper. However, its use lacks some context – in particular, about NI’s “brain drain”.

Articles

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Elections

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Peace

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Topics

Has the Executive been in a state of collapse for 40% of its existence?
8 November 2022

CLAIM: There have been several recent claims that, since it was first established a year and a half after the Good Friday Agreement, Northern Ireland’s devolved institutions have not been functioning for 40% of the time.

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ACCURATE

FactCheckNI has counted the days of existence and days of dysfunction. The Executive has been utterly collapsed for around 37.8% of that time. However, that

Articles

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Health

Does Northern Ireland support abortion?
3 November 2022

CLAIM: DUP MP Carla Lockhart claimed “Northern Ireland does not support abortion, it never has. It still doesn’t.”

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INACCURATE WITH CONSIDERATION

In recent years, several opinion polls have asked for NI’s views on abortion The public is broadly in favour of abortion rights when there are

Articles

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Elections

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Peace

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Topics

Did the 2006 St Andrews Agreement effectively give the DUP and Sinn Féin a veto over the formation of an Executive?
26 October 2022

CLAIM: Irish Times columnist Stephen Collins claimed that the 2006 St Andrews Agreement modified the Belfast/Good Friday Agreement in such a way that it has effectively handed both the DUP and Sinn Féin veto powers over the formation of an Executive at Stormont.

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INACCURATE

The 2006 St Andrews Agreement made significant changes to the rules for nominating a First and deputy First Minister and, thus, forming an Executive. However,

Articles

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Economy

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Health

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Topics

Does the UK have more food banks than McDonald’s?
24 October 2022

CLAIM: There are more food banks across the UK than McDonald’s restaurants

Rating

ACCURATE

Finding out the exact number of food banks in the UK is difficult.  However, even by low estimates, there are far more food banks than

Articles

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Economy

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Topics

Will £400m of unspent public funds be wiped out by a budget deficit?
24 September 2022

CLAIM: A £400m pot left unallocated by Stormont is going to be used to cover ongoing spending by departments.

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INACCURATE WITH CONSIDERATION

Northern Ireland currently has around £270m in unallocated public money As things stand, this money will not be used to cover existing shortfalls – or

Articles

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Education

Have the courts said NI schools are discriminatory, and ordered them to stop indoctrinating pupils into Christianity?
21 September 2022

CLAIM: The High Court has ruled that NI schools’ exclusive focus on Christianity is discriminatory, and said they should teach about other religions as well as Christianity, and should not indoctrinate children.

Rating

INACCURATE WITH CONSIDERATION

The High Court found that the core curriculum for RE lacks objectivity and promotes Christianity, in breach of human rights However, the Court made no

Articles

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Health

Does Northern Ireland have the highest rate of infant mortality in Europe?
7 September 2022

CLAIM: NI has the highest rate of infant mortality in the UK and therefore Europe.

Rating

INACCURATE WITH CONSIDERATION

NI has higher infant mortality than the rest of the UK. Several European countries have higher rates. Nevertheless, NI does have a relatively high rate

Articles

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Economy

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Topics

Is childcare the biggest cost for NI families, after housing?
1 September 2022

CLAIM: Childcare is the biggest cost for households across Northern Ireland outside of mortgages and rent.

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ACCURATE WITH CONSIDERATION

Childcare isn’t relevant to every home – but, for such households, this claim is backed by evidence. Annual surveys show that for over half of

Articles

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Economy

Did average pay plummet by 3.7% in the three months from May?
24 August 2022

CLAIM: Workers’ wages decreased by an average of 3.7% between May and the start of August

Rating

INACCURATE WITH CONSIDERATION

There are several different measures of real-terms wage changes One official measure showed wages fell by 3.7% in the three-months up to and including May

Articles

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Economy

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Europe

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Topics

Is NI subject to EU fuel VAT rates, which cannot be reduced below 5%? 
17 August 2022

CLAIM: Fuel VAT is currently 20% but, if Westminster reduced this to zero to help with the cost of living, this would not apply in NI. Local fuel VAT is set in Brussels, and EU rules stipulate this cannot be lower than 5%.

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ACCURATE WITH CONSIDERATION

UK VAT is 20% for petrol, diesel and commercial energy use, and 5% for domestic energy Current EU rules apply to NI but not the

Articles

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Elections

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Topics

Do less than 0.03% of the population of Northern Ireland have a vote in the Conservative Party leadership election 2022?
9 August 2022

CLAIM: Less than 0·03% of the population of Northern Ireland has a vote in the Conservative Party leadership election 2022.

Rating

UNSUBSTANTIATED

The Tory Party does not release membership figures The 0.03% figure is based on an estimate of the number of party members in NI While