Is public spending in Northern Ireland 45% higher than in Ireland?

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?

Can 45 NI Assembly members vote together to revoke and remove the Northern Ireland Protocol?

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?

Is full-time paid maternity leave in the UK one of the lowest in Europe?

CLAIM: The provision of full-time (equivalent) maternity pay in the UK is among the lowest in Europe.

CONCLUSION: ACCURATE. In an OECD report, the UK ranked 9th lowest of 33 European countries for “full-rate equivalent” paid maternity leave. Including home care leave (childcare), the UK ranks 4th lowest in Europe. Continue reading Is full-time paid maternity leave in the UK one of the lowest in Europe?

Does Ireland have the fastest growing economy in the Eurozone?

CLAIM: Ireland has the fastest growing economy in the Eurozone.

CONCLUSION: ACCURATE. According to the most recent annual figures, Ireland has the highest annual rate of GDP growth (both as an absolute figure and if adjusted for the size of population) of the 19 countries in the Eurozone. However, Ireland is ranked lower if other economic measures, such as Gross National Income are considered. Continue reading Does Ireland have the fastest growing economy in the Eurozone?

Was Belfast the sixth highest in murder rate for a European city in 2010?

CLAIM: The murder rate in Belfast was sixth highest in a list of cities in Europe (according to 2010 data).

CONCLUSION: INACCURATE. Available data shows other cities with higher homicide rates. Data for some other cities was not and is not published. By any reasonable definition, homicide rates in Belfast are not among the highest in Europe today. Continue reading Was Belfast the sixth highest in murder rate for a European city in 2010?

Is there a greater chance of a motorcyclist aged 67 dying as a motorcyclist than being affected by COVID-19?

CLAIM: There is a greater chance of a motorcyclist aged 67 in Northern Ireland dying in a motorcycle collision than being affected by COVID-19.

CONCLUSION: INACCURATE. Data shows that there have been no motorcyclists of Sammy Wilson MP’s age who have died as a result of a motorcycle collision in Northern Ireland, in the past three years. In 2020, there were 157 deaths registered related to COVID-19, of men aged 65–74. At the time of this claim, the probability of being infected by COVID-19 in Northern Ireland was an estimated 1 in 200 (now thought to be 1 in 60).

Continue reading Is there a greater chance of a motorcyclist aged 67 dying as a motorcyclist than being affected by COVID-19?