Former prime minister David Cameron, who launched the troubled families programme [Image: Yui Mok/PA].

It’s amazing, isn’t it? The government of the day makes an announcement that turns out to be a whopping great fib, and the worst the papers can say is, we were “misled”.

No – a government misleads you when it fiddles financial figures to show bigger savings than it has actually achieved, or when it makes over-optimistic predictions about future economic performance that don’t come true.

Telling us the ‘troubled families’ scheme had a 99 per cent success rate when in fact it had no significant impact is a big, fat lie.

Fortunately, no reader of This Blog would have been confused by it, as I predicted the scheme’s failure more than two years ago – and confirmed it in August this year.

Saying the government “misled” us gets everybody off the hook, though, doesn’t it?

If they lied, we’d want to know who lied, why they did it and what punishment they’ll face. We would want heads to roll.

So the impact is played down because – goodness! – if anyone admits the Tories are bad, people might take a look at what Labour is offering.

The Tories are bad. Demand punishment of the offenders. And look at what Labour is doing.

Claims that a flagship intervention project had turned around the lives of 99% of England’s most troubled families were misleading, a Commons committee has said.

The government also overstated the financial benefits of the scheme when it claimed it had saved taxpayers £1.2bn, MPs found.

They attacked the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) for “unacceptable” delays and “obfuscation” in publishing an evaluation of the troubled families programme.

It follows the release of research in October by the National Institute of Economic and Social Research (NIESR), which had been commissioned to carry out an official national study, that found the scheme had “no significant impact”.

Source: Government misled public with 99% success rate claim on troubled families, say MPs | Society | The Guardian

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