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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%.

Rating

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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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

Articles

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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.

Rating

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

Articles

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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

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

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.

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.

Rating

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

Economy

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Europe

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Explainer

Economic effects of the Northern Ireland Protocol
8 February 2022

The claim that the Northern Ireland Protocol “costs £900 million to Northern Ireland” annually is based on two articles by economist Dr Esmond Birnie.

While economic models are a recognised way of using simple frameworks to illustrate complex processes, they are often based on assumptions and are ultimately tested

Economy

Has the economy in Derry/Londonderry contracted 21% since 2007?
31 January 2022

CLAIM: The economy in Derry/Londonderry has contracted 21% since the restoration of the Northern Ireland Assembly in 2007.

Rating

INACCURATE

This claim is inaccurate. Since 2007, economic output in the Derry and Strabane area has grown by 15% whether measured by Gross Value Added (GVA)

Economy

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Europe

Is what Northern Ireland buys from Great Britain four times more valuable than from Ireland?
27 January 2022

CLAIM: Northern Ireland purchases from Great Britain are four times more valuable than those from Ireland.

Rating

ACCURATE

This claim is accurate. In 2019, the ratio of the estimated total value of Northern Ireland purchases from Great Britain (£13.4bn) to purchases from Ireland