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Economy

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Elections

Are 40,000 people in NI on the Housing Executive waiting list, with 30,000 of those in housing stress?
18 May 2022

CLAIM: Over 40,000 people in Northern Ireland are on the Housing Executive waiting list - with 30,000 of them in ‘housing stress’ - yet only around 2,000 social or affordable homes are built each year.

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The Ulster Unionist Party manifesto for the 2022 Assembly Election says: “Unfortunately, over 40,000 people in Northern Ireland are on the NI Housing Executive (NIHE)

Europe

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Explainer

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Law

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Peace

The NI Protocol: what power do local MLAs have?
16 May 2022
The NI Protocol means that Northern Ireland remains in the EU’s single market for goods – unlike England, Scotland and Wales. It was agreed by

Economy

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Elections

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Environment

Do 25 of NI’s 27 main ‘economic hubs’ have creaking water and sewage infrastructure that is holding back development?
4 May 2022

CLAIM: The DUP’s manifesto claims that 25 of NI’s 27 economic hub towns have compromised water infrastructure - with only 12 set to see investment by 2027.

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The DUP manifesto for the 2022 Assembly election claims: “The crisis in available water and sewerage capacity in Northern Ireland is curtailing economic investment and

Economy

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Elections

Was the Tories’ £20 cut to Universal Credit the biggest overnight drop in welfare since World War II?
4 May 2022

CLAIM: When the Conservative government in Westminster removed £20 per week from individuals’ social security payments in October 2021, this represented the biggest single reduction in benefits since 1945.

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The SDLP manifesto for the 2022 Assembly election claims: “The £20 Universal Credit cut marked the largest overnight welfare cut since World War II.” This

Elections

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Environment

Do nearly 30% of NI’s carbon emissions come from farming, compared with 10% in the rest of the UK?
3 May 2022

CLAIM: Alliance’s manifesto says almost 30% of Northern Ireland’s greenhouse gas emissions stem from agriculture, whereas in Great Britain that figure is 10%.

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The Alliance Party’s 2022 Assembly election manifesto claims: “Addressing our agriculture and transport sectors is fundamental to drastically reducing emissions in Northern Ireland. Nearly 30%

Economy

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Elections

Did the early collapse of the Executive leave £334m public money sitting on a shelf?
28 April 2022

CLAIM: Sinn Fein’s manifesto says the premature disintegration of the Executive left £334m of funding unallocated and, had the First and deputy First Ministers remained in place, this money could have provided relief around the rising cost of living.

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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.

Education

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Elections

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Health

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?
21 April 2022

CLAIM: Children in Northern Ireland who are entitled to free school meals (FSME) are 29 percentage points less likely to get 5+ GCSEs at A*-C, including English and maths, than those who aren’t FSME, based on results for 2018-19. This attainment gap has only shrunk by three percentage points (pp) since 2005-06

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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

Elections

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Peace

Do most UUP voters intend to transfer to nationalist parties ahead of other unionists in the May elections?
6 April 2022

CLAIM: According to polling, most people planning to cast a first preference vote for the UUP in May’s Assembly election will switch their vote to nationalists before they provide a transfer to other unionist parties.

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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

Europe

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Law

Is the UK ranked 14th in Europe for the number of asylum seekers it processes and accepts?
30 March 2022

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

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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.

Economy

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Elections

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Europe

Do 20% of EU customs checks take place in the Irish Sea?
24 March 2022

CLAIM: 20% of EU customs checks take place in the Irish Sea.

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UNSUBSTANTIATED

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

Health

Are children who take a COVID-19 vaccine 52 times more likely to suffer an early death?
4 March 2022

CLAIM: Children who get the Covid-19 vaccine increase their risk of early death by 5,100%.

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Data does not support this claim. Deaths of children after vaccination are too rare to inform reliable estimates. A temporary increase is possible because children

Health

Is there a 50% chance of hospitalisation with Omicron if you don’t get a COVID-19 booster jab?
28 February 2022

CLAIM: If you’ve had two doses of the COVID-19 vaccine and you haven’t had a booster jab, then you have a 50/50 chance of ending up in hospital if you catch Omicron.

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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