Does the tech sector employ 26% of the workforce in Belfast?

CLAIM: In Belfast, the digital sector employs 26 per cent of the workforce.

CONCLUSION: INACCURATE. The newspaper article misinterprets the Tech Nation “Jobs and Skills Report 2020”, which states that for Belfast, from June to August 2020, 26% of job adverts at the online search site Adzuna were in the category of IT and engineering jobs. Using the most recent figures available from NISRA, we estimate that 8% of the workforce in Belfast is employed in jobs that fall into this category. Continue reading Does the tech sector employ 26% of the workforce in Belfast?

Does Belfast/Good Friday Agreement forbid cross-border barriers?

CLAIM: The Belfast/Good Friday Agreement does not forbid the provision of barrier controls between Northern Ireland and Ireland.

CONCLUSION: ACCURATE WITH CONSIDERATION. The Belfast/Good Friday Agreement does not exclude governments’ border measures, but aims for ‘normal security arrangements’. The UK Withdrawal Agreement seeks to minimise physical border controls. Continue reading Does Belfast/Good Friday Agreement forbid cross-border barriers?

Do over 95% of south Belfast residents own their own home?

CLAIM: Over 95% of people living in south Belfast own their own home.

CONCLUSION: INACCURATE. The 2011 Census shows that the Belfast South constituency recorded 56.1% of homes being owned outright or owned with a mortgage or loan. Continue reading Do over 95% of south Belfast residents own their own home?

Are only 3 out of 12 regions net contributors to the UK Treasury?

CLAIM: Only 3 out of 12 regions are net contributors to the UK Treasury.

CONCLUSION: ACCURATE. Data from the ONS showed that only three regions of the UK — London, the southeast and the east of England — ran a fiscal surplus in the 2017-18 financial year, the latest year for which figures are available. Continue reading Are only 3 out of 12 regions net contributors to the UK Treasury?

Are there 40,000 third-level students in the northwest of Ireland?

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?

Does Brexit deal mean no forms to access Great Britain?

CLAIM: The current negotiated deal for the UK leaving the EU outlines no forms, checks, or barriers of any kind for goods leaving Northern Ireland to Great Britain.

CONCLUSION: INACCURATE WITH CONSIDERATION. While no customs export declaration forms would be required (as Northern Ireland will remain in a UK-wide customs area), exit summary declarations will be required to move goods between Northern Ireland and Great Britain. These declarations represent a new intervention, in addition to existing checks. Continue reading Does Brexit deal mean no forms to access Great Britain?