Posts Tagged ‘False Statistics’

Cameron’s Distortion of the Figures for Welfare Fraud

March 11, 2014


Mike over at Vox Political has several times blogged on the way the government has distorted or even falsified statistics to justify their harsh policies towards the unemployed and disabled. Owen Jones’ book Chavs: The Demonization of the Working Class, provides one example of this in the way Cameron tried to justify a crackdown on benefit payments, citing the statistics for welfare fraud as the reason:

Soon after David Cameron came to power in 2010, he started selling the idea that people are out of work due to their personal inadequacies: a sentiment which is, of course, one of the pillars of the chav caricature. The prime minister pledged a crackdown on welfare ‘fraud and error’, declaring that it cost the taxpayer £5.2 billion. But he had cunningly combined the cost of fraud committed by welfare recipients (just £1 billion a year) with that of errors on the part of officials (amounting to the far more considerable sum of £4.2 billion a year). In doing so, he ensured that a much bigger headline figure associated with benefit fraud was lodged in the popular imagination. (p. 196).

To use Hunter S. Thompson’s description of one Richard Milhouse Nixon, this is a man so crooked he has to screw his pants on in the morning.