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: 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?
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?
In 2019, available figures estimate that 4.4% of pregnancies of Northern Ireland residents ended in abortion. This compares to an estimated 24% of pregnancies in England and Wales in 2018 ending in abortion. Globally, an estimated average of 29% of pregnancies from 2015–2019 ended in abortion. This explainer article examines the accuracy and completeness of these figures, particularly for Northern Ireland. Continue reading Pregnancies and abortion in Northern Ireland
CLAIM: Wearing face masks can cause harmful levels of reduced oxygen.
CONCLUSION: INACCURATE. Face masks have no impact on oxygen levels. Continue reading Can face masks cause harmful levels of reduced oxygen?
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?