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Has the Executive been in a state of collapse for 40% of its existence?
8 November 2022

CLAIM: There have been several recent claims that, since it was first established a year and a half after the Good Friday Agreement, Northern Ireland’s devolved institutions have not been functioning for 40% of the time.

Rating

ACCURATE

FactCheckNI has counted the days of existence and days of dysfunction. The Executive has been utterly collapsed for around 37.8% of that time. However, that

Articles

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Elections

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Peace

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Topics

Did the 2006 St Andrews Agreement effectively give the DUP and Sinn Féin a veto over the formation of an Executive?
26 October 2022

CLAIM: Irish Times columnist Stephen Collins claimed that the 2006 St Andrews Agreement modified the Belfast/Good Friday Agreement in such a way that it has effectively handed both the DUP and Sinn Féin veto powers over the formation of an Executive at Stormont.

Rating

INACCURATE

The 2006 St Andrews Agreement made significant changes to the rules for nominating a First and deputy First Minister and, thus, forming an Executive. However,

Articles

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Elections

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Topics

Do less than 0.03% of the population of Northern Ireland have a vote in the Conservative Party leadership election 2022?
9 August 2022

CLAIM: Less than 0·03% of the population of Northern Ireland has a vote in the Conservative Party leadership election 2022.

Rating

UNSUBSTANTIATED

The Tory Party does not release membership figures The 0.03% figure is based on an estimate of the number of party members in NI While

Articles

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Elections

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Explainer

When is 40.3 not higher than 39.6?
8 June 2022
CLAIM: The nationalist vote in Northern Ireland has not increased since 1998. RATING: Accurate? Inaccurate? Neither? Maybe a little bit of everything? Most of the

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.

Rating

ACCURATE WITH CONSIDERATION

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.

Rating

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.

Rating

ACCURATE WITH CONSIDERATION

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

Elections

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Environment

Do nearly 30% of NI’s carbon emissions come from farming, compared with 10% in the rest of the UK?
3 May 2022

CLAIM: Alliance’s manifesto says almost 30% of Northern Ireland’s greenhouse gas emissions stem from agriculture, whereas in Great Britain that figure is 10%.

Rating

ACCURATE WITH CONSIDERATION

The Alliance Party’s 2022 Assembly election manifesto claims: “Addressing our agriculture and transport sectors is fundamental to drastically reducing emissions in Northern Ireland. Nearly 30%

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.

Rating

ACCURATE WITH CONSIDERATION

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.

Education

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Elections

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Health

Are children entitled to free school meals 29 percentage points less likely than their peers to get good GCSEs? Has this attainment gap barely closed in over a decade?
21 April 2022

CLAIM: Children in Northern Ireland who are entitled to free school meals (FSME) are 29 percentage points less likely to get 5+ GCSEs at A*-C, including English and maths, than those who aren’t FSME, based on results for 2018-19. This attainment gap has only shrunk by three percentage points (pp) since 2005-06

Rating

ACCURATE

Data shows that in 2018-2019, 49.5% of FSME school leavers had at least five GCSEs including English and maths, compared to 78.5% of their non-FSME

Elections

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Peace

Do most UUP voters intend to transfer to nationalist parties ahead of other unionists in the May elections?
6 April 2022

CLAIM: According to polling, most people planning to cast a first preference vote for the UUP in May’s Assembly election will switch their vote to nationalists before they provide a transfer to other unionist parties.

Rating

INACCURATE

Only 7% of UUP voters plan to switch to a nationalist party first, according to the survey. While 31% say their first move will be

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