CLAIM: A quarter of Northern Ireland’s population that is unvaccinated for COVID-19 is unlikely to ever get the vaccine.
CONCLUSION: ACCURATE WITH CONSIDERATION. A survey by the Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency (NISRA) reported that 24% of respondents who had not been vaccinated said that they were “fairly unlikely” or “very unlikely” to get the vaccine. However the headline fails to give context. Only 22% of respondents have not been vaccinated, so the cohort unlikely to get the vaccine represents 5% of those surveyed. Continue reading Is a quarter of Northern Ireland’s COVID-19 unvaccinated population unlikely to get jab?
CLAIM: A British Army veteran who served in Northern Ireland during the Troubles is 54 times more likely than a Republican or Loyalist paramilitary to be prosecuted for alleged offences pre-dating the 1998 Belfast Agreement.
CONCLUSION: INACCURATE. Prosecutions to date suggest that ex-British Army personnel have been the subject of cases five times more than Republican and Loyalist suspects. The cited ratio of 54 times “more likely” was based on a snapshot of live prosecutions and takes no account of previous cases. Continue reading A British Army veteran who served in NI during the Troubles is 54x more likely to be prosecuted?
CLAIM: Three-quarters of non-voters in Northern Ireland are pro-Union.
CONCLUSION: ACCURATE. The claim that three-quarters of non-voters in Northern Ireland are pro-Union is based on evidence from a research survey commissioned on behalf of the University of Liverpool. It found that 76.9% of respondents who are non-voters who stated a constitutional preference chose “to remain part of the UK”. FactCheckNI has not found evidence of other surveys recording constitutional preferences of non-voters, but future surveys may provide more information about this cohort. Continue reading Are 75% of non-voters in Northern Ireland pro-Union?
CLAIM: The DOJ and NIO joint fund an £8 million a year Programme for Tackling Paramilitary Activity and Organised Crime that funds engagement directly with paramilitary organisations, such as the UVF, UFF, RHC, and UDA.
CONCLUSION: INACCURATE. The cross-department Executive Programme for Tackling Paramilitary Activity and Organised Crime receives funds from the Northern Ireland Executive, and is not jointly funded by the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Northern Ireland Office (NIO). To date, there is no evidence of funds being provided for engagement directly with paramilitary organisations by the programme.
Continue reading Do the DOJ and NIO joint fund an £8 million a year programme to engage directly with paramilitary organisations?
UPDATE: This article has been amended to take into account updated figures from the Office for National Statistics, which suggest that public expenditure per person in Northern Ireland was near par with Ireland in 2019–20.
CLAIM: Public spending in Northern Ireland is 45% higher than it is in Ireland.
CONCLUSION: INACCURATE WITH CONSIDERATION. Using public expenditure as a measure of public spending, total public expenditure per person in Northern Ireland in 2015–16 was 10% higher than in Ireland. More recently, it was near par with Ireland. As a part of national output (GDP), government consumption contributed an estimated 45% more, per person, in Northern Ireland than it did in Ireland. But government consumption excludes aspects of spending, like investment in roads and social welfare. Continue reading Is public spending in Northern Ireland 45% higher than in Ireland?
CLAIM: If 45 members of the Northern Ireland Assembly vote to revoke the Northern Ireland Protocol, then the Protocol goes.
CONCLUSION: INACCURATE. The Assembly cannot simply vote and “the Protocol goes”. By December 2024, the Assembly will vote on whether to continue with or withdraw consent for Articles 5–10 of the Protocol (but not the whole Protocol). Continue reading Can 45 NI Assembly members vote together to revoke and remove the Northern Ireland Protocol?