Did DUP MPs vote against pay rises for nurses, firefighters, and police officers?

CLAIM: DUP MPs voted against a pay rise for nurses, firefighters, and police officers.

CONCLUSION: ACCURATE WITH CONSIDERATION: On 28 June 2017, all 10 DUP MPs voted against an amendment on the Queen’s Speech, to end the public sector pay cap. On 13 September 2017, Ian Paisley MP spoke in favour of the passed motion to lift the pay cap in the NHS. However, as a result of the devolved Agenda for Change arrangement, the agreed pay awards do not automatically extend to NHS nurses in Northern Ireland. Continue reading Did DUP MPs vote against pay rises for nurses, firefighters, and police officers?

Are 2% of pregnancy terminations between 20 and 24 weeks?

CLAIM: About 2% of pregnancy terminations take place between 20 and 24 weeks.

CONCLUSION: ACCURATE. In 2018, 1.8% of all abortions in Great Britain took place at gestations of 20 weeks and over; 1.7% of all abortions in England and Wales took place at gestations of 20 to 24 weeks. Continue reading Are 2% of pregnancy terminations between 20 and 24 weeks?

Do Northern Ireland arts need a 660% uplift in government funding?

CLAIM: Northern Ireland requires a 660% uplift in government expenditure to be equal to the European Union average of 2.2%

CONCLUSION: INACCURATE. UK government expenditure on cultural services (measured by Eurostat) is just over half of the EU average. Within the UK, public expenditure in Northern Ireland is less than half than in Scotland, Wales, and England. However, Arts Matter Northern Ireland uses European statistics that reach beyond the arts, and make an invalid comparison between EU figures and public expenditure arts spend within the UK. Continue reading Do Northern Ireland arts need a 660% uplift in government funding?

Did 20,000 people participate in an anti-abortion march in Belfast?

CLAIM: 20,000 people marched for a pro-life event in Belfast on 7 September 2019.

CONCLUSION: UNSUBSTANTIATED. The figure provided by the event organiser cannot be substantiated. However, the accompanying rally event at Custom House Square could not have been attended by more than the venue capacity of 5,000 people. Continue reading Did 20,000 people participate in an anti-abortion march in Belfast?

Northern Ireland outpatient waiting lists 100 times more than England’s?

CLAIM: 105,486 people were waiting over a year for a consultant-led outpatient appointment in Northern Ireland, which is 100 times more than in England, with its population 30 times greater.

CONCLUSION: ACCURATE. 105,486 and 1,089 people were waiting over a year for a consultant-led outpatient appointment in Northern Ireland and England, respectively. The estimated population of Northern Ireland and England is 55,977,178 and 1,881,600, respectively. Continue reading Northern Ireland outpatient waiting lists 100 times more than England’s?

Thousands of tonnes of slurry for pork for China?

CLAIM: Thousands of tonnes of slurry are being spread on farmland, all due to exporting pork to China, according to Channel 4 News.

CONCLUSION: UNSUBSTANTIATED. The export of 1,450 pigs would represent 1,000 tonnes of slurry (based on an estimate of 957,495 tonnes p.a.). Tonnage figures for pork exports from Northern Ireland are unavailable. A secondary claim that “there’ll soon be as many pigs as people in Northern Ireland” is inaccurate; there were 633,600 pigs in 2018 and the mid-year 2018 population of Northern Ireland was 1,881,600. Continue reading Thousands of tonnes of slurry for pork for China?