Are business rates in Larne the same as Regent Street in London?

CLAIM: Business rates on Main Street in Larne are the same as Regent Street in London.

CONCLUSION: INACCURATE. Higher property values in Regent Street mean that average rates are much higher there than Main Street in Larne. Continue reading Are business rates in Larne the same as Regent Street in London?

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

UPDATE: This article has been amended to take into account updated figures from the Office for National Statistics, which suggest that public expenditure per person in Northern Ireland was near par with Ireland in 2019–20.

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 near par with 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?

Can 45 NI Assembly members vote together to revoke and remove the Northern Ireland Protocol?

CLAIM: If 45 members of the Northern Ireland Assembly vote to revoke the Northern Ireland Protocol, then the Protocol goes. 

CONCLUSION: INACCURATE. The Assembly cannot simply vote and “the Protocol goes”. By December 2024, the Assembly will vote on whether to continue with or withdraw consent for Articles 5–10 of the Protocol (but not the whole Protocol). Continue reading Can 45 NI Assembly members vote together to revoke and remove the Northern Ireland Protocol?

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?

Children living in poverty in Northern Ireland

How many children in Northern Ireland live in poverty? Dr Julie-Ann Maney, a paediatrician who works at the Royal Belfast Hospital for Sick Children, wrote an article on this topic, claiming that one third of children in Northern Ireland live in poverty. Her claim was based on projections in a report by the Institute of Fiscal Studies, published in 2013. Continue reading Children living in poverty in Northern Ireland

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?