Children living in poverty in Northern Ireland

How many children in Northern Ireland live in poverty? Dr Julie-Ann Maney, a paediatrician who works at the Royal Belfast Hospital for Sick Children, wrote an article on this topic, claiming that one third of children in Northern Ireland live in poverty. Her claim was based on projections in a report by the Institute of Fiscal Studies, published in 2013. Continue reading Children living in poverty in Northern Ireland

Is Northern Ireland one of the most locked-down places in the world?

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?

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.

UPDATE: The Times corrected its article, in response to our request. Its updated article states that in Belfast, the tech sector makes up 26 per cent of vacancies, not overall employment.

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?