15th July 2013

http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2013/jul/15/iain-duncan-smith-statistics-benefits-cap

15th July 2013

My happy place,

With all this magnificent weather, I’m finding it increasingly difficult to drag myself to the computer to write to you, my love, but just the thought of your eager little face as you pry them open, when they’re brought to you each day on a silver tray with your tea and crumpets, just warms my heart.

Finally, the benefits cap is here. Hurrah. I’m glad to see Iain has taken absolutely no notice of the telling off he received from the Office for National Statistics for his ‘misuse’ of the facts. (Funny how if it was anybody else, it would merely be referred to as lying.) Back then he said that the cap had led to 8,000 people finding work and despite the ONS saying they could not find any causal link between the cap and those finding work, the fictional figure has now gone up to 12,000. He’s utterly unstoppable. Bully for him. But fair dues to him, this time he’s actually used figures from an actual survey.

This latest strategy is such an inspired addition to the Tory manual, I just know you must’ve had something to do with it, my huggy-bear: “When Statistics Don’t Back Up Your Claims, Pay For Some New Statistics!” On the BBC today, Iain quoted numbers from a UK research company who had just conducted a survey that showed a miraculous 72% of long-term unemployed suddenly finding work after hearing about the benefits cap! I raise my Poundland wine flute to you. Who can argue with those statistics? The fact that the survey was hardly independent, with no evidence to suggest that it wasn’t bought and paid for solely by the DWP, and represents results from just five hundred people, it’s hardly going to detract from the massive endorsement that only stark figures can give you. Unfortunately, the figures from Haringey council, (my old neighbourhood), were also published in the same article that showed that of the 740 households subject to the cap only 34 had found work. Hardly 72%, but then again, people generally don’t read whole news reports and hopefully would’ve moved onto leaving comments on a friend’s Facebook page congratulating them on a great looking pub lunch.

Anyway, many congratulations, my little sausage, and 72.9% of my unemployed friends agree.

Katy Anchant

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