A recent survey published by Employers For Childcare examined the status of childcare provision in Northern Ireland. This explainer article updates our previous analysis and includes comparisons of other UK regions and Ireland. Continue reading Childcare provision in Northern Ireland
CLAIM: Northern Ireland produces enough to feed 10 million people (annually).
CONCLUSION: ACCURATE WITH CONSIDERATION. The Northern Ireland agricultural sector produces enough protein to meet the needs of 10m adults. However, production is only sufficient to meet the energy requirements of 4.7m adults. Continue reading Does Northern Ireland produce enough to feed 10 million people?
CLAIM: The Northern Ireland Protocol requires certain aspects of EU law to apply in Northern Ireland but this can only happen if they are incorporated into Northern Ireland law.
CONCLUSION: INACCURATE WITH CONSIDERATION. Certain aspects of EU law do still apply in Northern Ireland as a result of the Protocol, but these do not have to be incorporated into Northern Ireland law to have effect. Section 7A of the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018 makes those EU laws applicable in Northern Ireland. Any future legislative changes that may be necessary to implement the Protocol, or related EU laws, could be made at Westminster if Stormont refused to act. Incorporation into Northern Ireland law is therefore not a requirement. Continue reading Does the Northern Ireland protocol require certain aspects of EU law to apply in Northern Ireland and can this only happen if they are incorporated into Northern Ireland law?
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?
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?
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?