Wednesday 16 January 2013

Letter 90: Coalition statistics, damning lies & 500,000 jobs created in the past year

"Dear Dave,
 Could you put your speech down a minute and answer a question? I've just read something in the news and need to ask if it's true...
Statistics are difficult aren't they? In terms of truth and accuracy, I mean? You know the 500,000 jobs you say you've created in the last year - is it true that one in five are in government work schemes which include tens of thousands of people claiming benefits? If so, that would mean that many of those 105,000 are probably still claiming job seekers allowance and doing voluntary or mandatory work experience in supermarkets and charity shops, wouldn't it? So, these people don't really have proper jobs. How misleading.
It also means that George wasn't really correct in his Autumn Statement, when he claimed that employment was at a"record high" and that the UK has "a greater proportion of its people in work that either the eurozone or the US" (That's disappointing and not just because you have a Chancellor who gets his figures wrong.)

You know, I've even read that thousands are being included in the 500,000 just for regularly turning up at job hunting workshops, which are part of the DFE work programme. Massage anyone?

It does beg the question of course... Are you creating back-to-work schemes to boost the employment figures? That would be terribly dishonest if you were, you know.

With best wishes, etc"

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