CLAIM: Northern Ireland spends less on each school pupil’s education than any other part of the UK.
CONCLUSION: ACCURATE. Spending on schools per head of population in Northern Ireland is similar to England, Scotland, and Wales. However, Northern Ireland’s comparatively large school age population means that spending per pupil is lower than elsewhere in the UK. Continue reading Does Northern Ireland spend least per pupil?
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?
CLAIM: About 95% or 98% of all households in the Holylands area of Belfast are HMOs.
CONCLUSION: INACCURATE. FactCheckNI has estimated that 45% of properties in the Holylands are licensed as HMOs, and Belfast City Council report a figure of 40% for the larger Botanic, Holylands and Rugby policy area. Continue reading Are 95% or 98% of all households in the Holylands area of Belfast HMOs?
CLAIM: There are more Orangemen than fluent Irish speakers in Northern Ireland.
CONCLUSION: UNSUBSTANTIATED. The 2017-18 Continuous Household Survey indicates there are an estimated 35,955 persons with conversational fluency of Irish, and the current Grand Secretary of the Orange Order has said that it has “around 40,000” members. However, the Order membership figure is unverifiable. Continue reading Are there more Orangemen than fluent Irish speakers?
CLAIM: Northern Ireland remains the only UK jurisdiction without funded childcare provision.
CONCLUSION: INACCURATE WITH CONSIDERATION. The Northern Ireland Government funds the provision of pre-school education, which in the rest of the UK, Ireland, and wider Europe is defined as “Early Childhood Education and Care”. Residents of Northern Ireland are also eligible for some UK-wide childcare subsidy schemes. Continue reading Is Northern Ireland without funded childcare provision?
CLAIM: There are 40,000 third-level students in northwest Ireland, with 7,000 graduates annually ready for employment.
CONCLUSION: INACCURATE. Available data shows 9,370 third-level students in northwest Ireland, with approximately 3,300 graduates a year in the region. The Ireland Northwest Trade & Investment mission may have included figures for Ulster University Coleraine, which is outside the geography covered by the partnership. Even so, the claim is a large overestimation. Continue reading Are there 40,000 third-level students in the northwest of Ireland?