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140208floods

The BBC has actually dared to run a story criticising the Conservative-Liberal Democrat Coalition government! Perhaps its editors are worried that the social media are getting a better reputation for news reporting.

It seems the UK Statistics Authority has attacked the Treasury for giving a “false impression” of government investment in areas like flood defences.

The government chart, released with the Autumn Statement, appeared to show an even spread across sectors, but used a ‘logarithmic’ scale – with gaps between £1 million, £10 million, £100 million, £1 billion and so on represented by increments of the same size.

The scaling appeared to show flood defences getting at least half as much funding as transport and energy – the projects that received the most money.

The Treasury's 'logarhythmic' chart, apparently showing a relatively even spread of funding.

The Treasury’s ‘logarithmic’ chart, apparently showing a relatively even spread of funding.

In fact, would you like to know the proportion of money actually being spent on flood defences, compared with energy infrastructure?

Two per cent.

The UK Statistics Authority's more representative chart, showing that flood defence (third from left) receives two per cent of the funding that goes to energy (second from left).

The UK Statistics Authority’s more representative chart, showing that flood defence (third from left) receives two per cent of the funding that goes to energy (second from left).

Last Wednesday the same BBC that broke this story told us that severe flood warnings – signifying a danger to life” – had been issued for part of the Somerset Levels.

People were in danger of death because the government had neglected anti-flooding plans.

This year the government is spending £60 million less on flood defence than in Labour’s last year of office (2009-10) – and that’s after factoring in new spending to combat the current deluge.

“The government has denied attempting to mislead the public,” according to the BBC report.

Well it would, wouldn’t it? But how often has it done anything else?

Does the Coalition not tell us every day that we are better off than before – when we know the pounds in our pocket buy less and less, the longer they are in office?

Is it not telling us that more of us are in work, when we can unpick DWP press releases to reveal the tawdry tricks they have played to create those figures?

Did it not tell us the National Health Service in England would be safe – and then ruin it, especially with the current drive to maim accident and emergency departments?

How much longer can we afford this cavalier gang of Hooray Henrys, playing fast and loose with the facts?

They couldn’t care less if their irresponsibility causes somebody’s death.

Follow me on Twitter: @MidWalesMike

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