Moving the goalposts – How the Tories change methods to suit……

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SCRAPPING TARGETS

NHS: Two waiting list measurements – http://www.expressandstar.com/news/uk-news/2015/06/04/hunt-reveals-changes-to-nhs-targets/

Immigration: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/immigration/11249333/Coalition-abandons-target-to-reduce-migration.html

ALTERING COUNTING METHODS

Rough Sleeping: “Methodology changed” – see below

Deficit: Changed overnight from a cash figure to a percentage of GDP. up to 2nd Dec 2014 down by a third, but from 3rd Dec, it was down by a half.

Poverty: https://leftfootforward.org/2015/06/the-government-is-about-to-try-and-change-the-way-poverty-is-measured-again/

ROUGH SLEEPING

In an oral debate in the House of Commons on 29th June 2015, The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government (Mr Marcus Jones) had this exchange…..

Lyn Brown (West Ham) (Lab): I welcome the hon. Gentleman to his post. During the election, the Prime Minister stated that the number of people sleeping rough had gone down over the past five years. Crisis, the homelessness charity, said he had got his facts wrong. The Government’s own statistics show that the number of rough sleepers has gone up by 55%. Will the Minister correct the Prime Minister’s mistake?

Mr Jones: I thank the hon. Lady for her welcome. Compared with the situation five years ago, this Government changed the methodology for counting rough sleeping so that we have a more honest and accurate assessment and do not sweep things under the carpet, as her party did when it was in government. We have a number of programmes on rough sleeping that are working well. The “No Second Night Out” programme has been rolled out across the country, and in London more than two thirds of those new to the streets are not spending a second night out because of that programme.

CHILD POVERTY

Tory plans to redefine child poverty figures. Just like they did with the deficit calculation method.

David Cameron is looking to revive plans to change the way that child poverty is measured, in advance of figures that are expected to show it has increased for the first time in a decade.

http://www.theguardian.com/society/2015/jun/23/child-poverty-measures-figures-first-rise-in-decade 24th June 2015

The Government is to repeal its legally binding child poverty targets, Iain Duncan Smith has announced. http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/unsustainable-legally-binding-child-poverty-targets-to-be-scrapped-iain-duncan-smith-says-10358111.html

child poverty

BENEFIT CAP

The UK Statistics Authority has rapped Iain Duncan Smith for his claim that 8,000 people moved into work as a result of the planned introduction of the coalition’s benefit cap.

http://www.newstatesman.com/politics/2013/05/duncan-smith-rebuked-ons-misuse-benefit-statistics 9 May 2013

and Grant Shapps…..

http://disabilitynewsservice.com/2013/05/tory-boss-rebuked-over-partys-latest-misuse-of-benefit-figures/ 31 May 2013

PRIMARY ACHIEVEMENT

Andrew Dilmot, Chair of the UK Statistics Authority, has again criticised Nicky Morgan for false claims about childrens’ achievement at the end of primary school.

http://www.localschoolsnetwork.org.uk/2014/12/statistics-authority-calls-on-morgan-to-retract-her-false-claims/ 21st Dec 2014

READING AND WRITING

Sam Gyimah, minister for childcare and education, told a meeting at the Conservative Party annual conference in Birmingham tests showed that more than a third of young people were leaving school “unable to read, write or do maths”.

Mr Gyimah’s comments have been rounded on by Mary Bousted, general secretary of the ATL teaching union, who said it “doesn’t help when politicians misuse statistics”.

“It’s simply not true to say they are illiterate. It means that they have not reached the required level, but that doesn’t mean they can’t read,” she said.

https://news.tes.co.uk/b/news/2014/09/30/conservative-minister-condemned-after-claiming-uk-students-39-illiterate-and-innumerate-39.aspx 30th Sept 2014

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MRSA

The Conservatives have been in trouble over their use of statistics before. Chris Grayling’s crime numbers has been persistently questioned, the Tories famously claimed that half of all teenagers were pregnant in some areas, and David Cameron was caught misusing dataabout cancer during the first leaders’ debate. It now emerges that their claims about MRSA are also economical with the truth.

http://leftfootforward.org/2010/04/tory-misuse-of-stats-is-infectious/ 29th April 2010

ESA FACTS

http://skwalker1964.wordpress.com/2013/06/01/we-did-it-tories-now-spanked-by-uksa-for-blatant-esa-distortion/

PISA TESTS 

http://www.localschoolsnetwork.org.uk/2012/10/statistics-watchdog-expresses-concern-about-dfe-use-of-the-pisa-2000-figures/

REPORT INTO THE ABUSE OF STATISTICS BY THE DEPARTMENT FOR WORK AND PENSIONS

http://www.scribd.com/doc/149776210/DPAC-Report-on-DWP-Abuse-of-Statistics-Final-22-June-2013 Jun 2013

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ELECTION PLEDGES

http://www.theguardian.com/politics/reality-check/2015/jan/05/reality-check-how-accurate-tory-dossier-labour-election-pledges Jan 2015

*https://www.conservatives.com/ShareTheFacts.aspx

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