How much do MLAs earn (or not)?

CLAIM: Progressive Politics NI claimed that MLAs were paid “nearly £2.2 million” in salaries up to 3rd September 2017.

CONCLUSION: Broadly accurate. The annual salary of an MLA is £49,500. For the period covered by the claim (13/3-13/9/2017), MLAs received a combined estimate of £2,333,188. Continue reading How much do MLAs earn (or not)?

Was funding cut for youth work?

CLAIM: The Irish News wrote that a funding cut places hundreds of youth work posts at risk.

CONCLUSION: There is no evidence of any cut, nor any proposed cut. Yet there is uncertainty about continued funding, for this and other programmes, in light of the composition of a new Northern Ireland Executive (or direct rule governance) after elections in March 2017. Continue reading Was funding cut for youth work?

TheJournal.ie: Are there really more Polish speakers than Irish speakers in Northern Ireland?

CLAIM: In Northern Ireland, more people speak Polish than speak Irish.

CONCLUSION: Mostly false. While the 2011 Census data show more people in Northern Ireland speaking Polish than Irish as their main language, based on other available data it is implausible that there are more who speak Polish than Irish. Continue reading TheJournal.ie: Are there really more Polish speakers than Irish speakers in Northern Ireland?

TheJournal.ie: Did the DUP really never commit to an Irish Language Act?

CLAIM: “The DUP at no point has ever agreed to establish an Irish Language Act with the UK government, with the Irish government, with Sinn Féin or anybody else.”

CONCLUSION: Accurate. The St Andrew’s Agreement committed the UK Government to an Irish Language Act, but subsequent legislation compelled the Northern Ireland Executive to produce a strategy (which may or may not include an Irish Language Act). Continue reading TheJournal.ie: Did the DUP really never commit to an Irish Language Act?

How dependent is Stormont on Westminster subvention?

CLAIM: Northern Ireland were once net contributors of revenue to HM Treasury.

CONCLUSION: True, up until the 1930s. But data show that Northern Ireland has run a fiscal deficit since 1966. The most recent figure, from 2013-14, is a subvention of £9.2 billion. Continue reading How dependent is Stormont on Westminster subvention?

Is crime on the rise in Northern Ireland?

CLAIM: Under an Alliance Minister of Justice, crime rates in Northern Ireland are lower.

CONCLUSION: According to PSNI reports, annual offences covering the relevant period are marginally higher (105,289 versus 105,040). Meanwhile, crime in Northern Ireland has been rising every year since 2012/13. Continue reading Is crime on the rise in Northern Ireland?