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Economy

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Did the GDP gap between NI and Britain’s wealthiest regions grow by almost 44% between 2000 and 2014?
5 December 2022

CLAIM: Between 2000 and 2014, the gap in GDP per capita between NI and the three wealthiest regions of GB increased by 44%.

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INACCURATE WITH CONSIDERATION

Ireland’s Future used inappropriate data to reach its conclusion By coincidence, analysis of official GDP data leads to results which are similar but not the

Articles

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Economy

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Education

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Topics

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”.

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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

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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

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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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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

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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

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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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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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Economy

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Topics

Is Belfast the most lucrative city in the UK for students’ landlords?
27 July 2022

CLAIM: Belfast is the most lucrative city in the UK for landlords of student properties, with a total of £1.8bn in rent collected from students annually.

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INACCURATE

MLA Gerry Carroll made this claim based on a story in the Belfast Telegraph That story was based on a report from insurance firm CIA

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Economy

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Europe

Is the Belfast-Derry/Londonderry train no quicker than it was during Victorian times?
6 July 2022

CLAIM: The train between Derry/Londonderry and Belfast takes 2 hours and 20 minutes. The journey is 70 miles long, meaning this service travels at the same speed as Victorian-era trains.

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INACCURATE WITH CONSIDERATION

On BBC Radio Ulster’s show Talkback on June 9, during a discussion about the impact of Brexit and EU funding on Northern Ireland, Dr Ben

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Economy

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Europe

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Explainer

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Law

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Peace

How is the NI Protocol affecting the local cost of living?
21 June 2022
Several claims have been made about devastating effects of the Protocol on the cost of living in NI. Claims such as the Protocol “is adding

Articles

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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)

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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ACCURATE

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