More fake statistics from the denial factory


One lie leads to another, as Iain ‘Returned To Unit’ Smith seems to have found out – now that he has started, he can’t stop for fear that he’ll be found out.

Tough. The evidence is available for all to see.

His latest attempt at hoodwinking the public is a press release, Public think benefit cap claimants should work or move, in which even the headline is a lie.

It aims to publicise the results of a survey by Ipsos-MORI, examining public attitudes to the cap. The survey was carried out among more than 2,000 people who were selected to be representative of the UK as a whole.

“The vast majority (70 per cent) of the public think people affected by the benefit cap should be prepared to find jobs or work more hours,” the piece begins. This is accurate, according to the survey being quoted – but it is based on the premise that the benefit cap should be set at £26,000 per year for a workless family, which is significantly lower than what was originally advertised by the DWP – the income of an average working family.

The DWP, imposing the cap, drummed up support by saying it would limit the amount workless families could receive to the same as the average income of a family in work, claiming that this was £26,000. In fact, a working family claiming all the benefits to which it is entitled can get £31,000 – so the cap means workless families are at least £5,000 per year worse-off, a huge gap of 16-17 per cent.

“Two-thirds (65 per cent) say they should be willing to move to a cheaper property,” the release claims – but the Ipsos-MORI report’s summary makes it clear that support for the policy drops to 44 per cent – a minority – and opposition rises to 26 per cent if it means those benefit claimants affected by the cap have to move to other areas to find more affordable accommodation.

The press release, which came out to support the government policy ‘Simplifying the welfare system and making sure work pays’, continues: “Independent research published today (10 October 2013) shows that 60 per cent support the cap even if it means that those affected have to take a job, regardless of the pay.” So now it seems that making work pay is not the objective; cutting wages is the real plan.

“The Ipsos MORI report finds around three-quarters of the public support the benefit cap in principle.” This, at least, is accurate and is no bad thing. Benefits should be lower than wages – they are a safety net that should enable people to carry on living while they find paying work. But in return, employers need to pay a living wage, ensuring that nobody in work has to claim any benefit at all. That, at the moment, is sorely lacking in the UK.

“58 per cent think that politicians needed to do more to reduce the welfare bill.” But they weren’t asked how they thought this should be done, or whether politicians were doing the right things.

“50 per cent think that benefits are too generous.” Among those who’ve received benefits this drops, but surprisingly only to 45 per cent. Among those who haven’t received benefits, 62 per cent thought them too generous.

“11 per cent think the benefits system is working effectively.” But they weren’t asked whether the Conservative-led Coalition was to blame for the poor performance.

At this point, the press release stops quoting statistics – but there is one further piece of evidence that people need to know. It relates to what the people who were surveyed knew about the benefit cap before they answered the questions.

Only 29 per cent knew even a fair amount about the cap before answering the survey’s questions. Of the rest, 42 per cent said they knew “just a little” about it, 18 per cent said they’d heard of it but knew nothing at all about it, and eight per cent had never even heard of it.

So this survey – put out by the DWP as a measure of public support for the Benefit Cap – is in fact a measure of public ignorance.

Why should anybody accept these findings as authoritative? How can we accept the 70 per cent view that people affected by the cap should be prepared to find jobs or work – that’s fewer than those who admitted they don’t know much about it!

In fact, none of these statistics can claim to be authoritative because only a tiny minority of those surveyed knew enough about the subject.

Now look at Iain Duncan Smith’s comment: “Today’s report makes it clear that the public support setting a limit on benefits and the successful delivery of the benefit cap shows we are committed to returning fairness to the welfare state.”

Lie. It shows that most of the public are ignorant about the limit. The successful delivery of a benefit cap set at 17 per cent less than average income shows that he is committed to returning unfairness to the benefit system.

“Claimants affected by the cap need to make decisions about work and housing and what they can afford, just as hardworking families do. We have made sure the support is there to help people back into work and the Benefit Cap and Universal Credit will ensure that work pays.”

Lie. The press release itself states that people are being pressurised into any work they can get – whether it pays or not. Support is not available to get people back into jobs because the jobs aren’t there. And Universal Credit does not work.

The release goes on to state: “Since claimants were first notified of the benefit cap in April 2012, Jobcentre Plus have helped around 16,500 potentially capped claimants into work.” The wording is very careful; notice no mention is made that they moved into work specifically to avoid the cap – Smith and others have been reprimanded over such claims in the past. But the context suggests that the benefit cap is what motivated these people to get jobs, and that is unsupportable as well.

What a shambles.

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36 thoughts on “More fake statistics from the denial factory

  1. Mike Sivier

    Joanna sent this comment to the Theresa May article but it belongs here, I think:

    Hi Mike I found this little nugget from Corporate watch!!!

    “I would suggest that anyone expected to do an unpaid work placement should say they will not undertake any work that contributes to the profits of a company and will only work in the voluntary sector when such work is actually voluntary. Such non-compliance is a matter of personal conscience and political belief, which engages “ARTICLE 9″ of the European Convention on Human Rights.”

    No Jobcentre can ignore this!!!!

  2. hugosmum70

    NO…. all this report/survey says is that most of only the 2000 people interviewed think what IDS says . where were these 2000 people from?were they all from Tory areas? 2000 is only a drop in the ocean and not representative of the rest of the UK population.
    i and others i know up north here, who are members of the IPSOS survey panel, have not been asked anything about any such political subject by ipsos. in fact have not even had any invitations for quite some time to do their surveys, though for a while I did get a number asking who I had voted for, who I intended to vote for etc. but nothing since. makes you wonder if only Tory’s were asked on this occasion,judging from the apparently large percentages coming down on the Tory side.

    1. Mike Sivier

      That’s really interesting to read. The full report tells us: “The first [survey] was based on a nationally-representative online survey among 2,017 British adults on the Ipsos Interactive Services panel aged between 16 and 752.The sample of respondents closely mirrors the population on key demographics such as age, gender, work status, social grade and region and is weighted to reflect these and other key variables such as tenure. Survey estimates based on this sample size have a margin of error no higher than ±2.2%, further details on which are contained in the appendices to this report.” A second was based on telephone interviews with 500 people who had recently started work.
      So – on the face of it – not just Tories at all. But now you’ve brought this new information that casts doubt on it… Are any other readers on the Ipsos survey panel? Did you take part or were you also excluded?

  3. jed goodright

    I can’t write this man’s name here nor comment without being abusive – it’s come to this where you can’t say anything anymore … what is the point?

  4. Samwise Gamgee

    IDS is surely the most despicable, loathsome piece of **** to ever be in government. He has no morals, no pity, no understanding. That Nazi should be grateful there is no God, otherwise he would surely burn in the hell he obviously believes in.

    Seeing that fascist makes me angry, sorry if this comment is a little on the, erm, strong side…

    1. Mike Sivier

      I don’t think it’s any secret that I do have religious beliefs, and so does our subject. I can only speculate on whether the person in question is a gnostic, or belongs to some other offshoot, and thinks he needs to commit many sins so God has a lot to forgive.

      1. Samwise Gamgee

        I meant no disrespect to your beliefs Mike, or anybody else’s, but it would be hypocritical of me to tell IDS to “burn in hell” since I myself am an atheist. I think we can all agree that IDS and those like him lack any human empathy or compassion for those less fortunate than themselves, and no doubt many good people of faith feel the same.

      2. Mike Sivier

        I didn’t take it as any kind of disrespect. You have different beliefs – I can live with that. And yup, that’s pretty much how I feel, although I would not wish Hell on anybody.

    2. Joe Ohara

      IDS, is a spineless self seeking egotistical coward, his politics are Fascist in the extreme, problem is, he knows exactly what he’s doing and the damage it’s causing. He relies on the continued protection of Furher Cameron, another with Fascist beliefs. As long as the poor, disabled, and unemployed do not have a collective voice to speak loudly on their behalf there’s little or no chance of change. And IDS will remain slimy dangerous and Fascist. We collectively need rid of him, Cameron needs reminding of Bettsygate, IDSs fraudulent degree claim. Cameron must be made to understand he could lose the election if IDS remains in Government.

      1. Charles Loft

        I am a Christian, and I believe that people like IDS do and will end up in Hell at God’s behest and Judgement. However, if they continue as they are, I believe it will soon get to the point where they will be petrol bombed in the streets or in their cars by the ordinary people of this country. We strongly need an Underground Resistance movement right NOW in the UK as this present gang of brutal thugs listen to no-one, not even Amnesty or the UN. I’m truly surprised that 250,000 people haven’t parked themselves close to IDS’s country mansion, to lynch him and string him up.

  5. Thomas M

    Ian Duncan Smith needs a Christmas visit this year from the ghosts of Christmas Past Present and Future. That would soon change his tune.

    1. Mike Sivier

      The ghosts of Welfare Past, Present and Future, perhaps?
      Would make a good Yuletide story if done right. You shouldn’t put these ideas into my head…!

  6. Alison Chesterton

    The statistics I believe in are the ones showing how many people are having to turn to the foodbanks to subsist, the Citizens Advice Bureau, Mental Health and charities!. I am a believer and not because my food is donated by my fellow Christians. It’s worth believing in Hell for anyone just to imagine him burning but I have to forgive. I was stung by the 365 day ESA because my partner works despite his low pay we are now forced to struggle as I was injured in an accident but ATOS sealed my fate…..

    1. hugosmum70

      i do not need a food bank …at least not so far. nor do any of my grown up family…..again, so far. but if we SHOULD need one at a further date, i haven’t a clue how we would be expected to get to our nearest one… latest news on this area….Desperate families who can no longer afford to eat are walking more than six miles to pick up food parcels from a church.. people on my side of Wakefield, (that church is other side,) are more likely to be 8/9 miles away from there. so we would have no chance if disabled (as at least 5 members of my immediate and extended family are,) of getting to a food bank. it costs over a tenner by taxi to get halfway to it (the town centre) or £5.80 return by bus…. again just to the town centre. (none of us can walk far), this church is another bus ride away from the town..

      1. Mike Sivier

        I live in rural Wales and this issue has been testing food banks here as well. The answer seems to be for food bank volunteers to take parcels out to people who live on – or near – their route to their own homes. Perhaps this could be adopted (or adapted) in your area?

      2. hugosmum70

        good idea Mike. if they can get drivers to do it of course. but worth finding out if they A) do that already or B) could consider doing it if they arent. as i say we dont need them yet but others might.

      3. Mike Sivier

        It would definitely be worth phoning or emailing them and making the suggestion. Then – should the worst happen and you end up having to use a food bank – they might be prepared to help in that way.

    1. Mike Sivier

      I’m so sorry – your comment had dropped off the bottom of the list by the time I came to look at them! Thanks for the heads-up; I’ve been to the site dashboard and found it there.

  7. noneoftheabove1

    I thought that a significant majority of people claiming benefits are in work, is this correct, in which case, the issue is not so much that benefits are too high, which they may or may not be, but that wages are too low.
    If benefits then boost the wages of working people to the average wage of working people (£26,000) does not this then imply that we’re trying to get everyone up to the average by a combination of work and benefits, which implies that approximately half the working population, on below average wages, are either entitled to benefits to bring them up to the average or are getting less than other people who are entitled to benefits. Am I being too simplistic.

    1. Mike Sivier

      Well, average INCOME is actually more than £31,000, if the family on the average wages claims all the benefits that would be due to it as well, so yes, you’re being too simplistic in that respect.
      But you’re right that the issue is about wages being too low – and they’re pushing benefits down as well.

  8. Eddie Lawrence

    As for all this business in respect to benefit claimants moving to cheaper accommodation the question has to be: Where the heck is this supposed cheaper accommodation that the poor can be driven to move to? Isn’t this the biggest problem with the Bedroom Tax now? – that people can no longer afford to stay where they are even though there is nowhere else that might be affordable to them that they can actually move to?

    According to what I’ve read the Bedroom Tax might save £500 million while the married tax break for certain couples will cost £600 million, i.e., the tax break for certain couples will cost much more than the Bedroom Tax might save and so won’t help cut the “deficit” at all. So it’s difficult to see how the Bedroom Tax is has any purpose at all other than starving out and making homeless the very poorest of the poor living in council houses: people who are working and hit by the tax will simply make up the difference out of their wages and stay where they are. Only the most vulnerable and most needy will have their lives convulsed and ruined by the Bedroom Tax.

    This seems very, very sadistic and very, very cruel to me.

    And now Cameron wants to strip benefits from all under 25 year olds.

    For the sake of humanity this monster MUST go at the next election.

    1. Mike Sivier

      … and that’s assuming that the Bedroom Tax ‘saves’ any money at all! It’s far more likely to COST money, as local authorities struggle to re-house people made homeless after failing to pay their rents.

    2. hugosmum70

      only cheaper accommodation ive heard of that might be available are caves. cant get cheaper than that… read that some people have actually resorted to doing just that… tho once again local councils talk of moving them on even from there. that of course is if there ARE any in the area you can get to from where you are.

  9. Penny Ledger

    A lot of people misunderstand the benefit cap and think that ALL families get £500 and single people £350. Surveys should also ask “If you lost your job how much would you need to live on until you find work?” How many would happily live on £10 a day JSA.

  10. Norma

    It is not just dogy statistics. DWP staff are now making it up as they go along!

    After my Atos “assessment” I received a letter saying I was in the Work related activity group. A few days later I rang the DWP, about another matter, and was told that Atos had recommended support group but the decision maker disagreed so my case had gone to a senior decision maker. I asked what I should do if I received an appointment for a work focused interview in the meantime and was told do not go until it has been decided which group you are in.

    That was back in May this year, I have rung three times since for an update and spoken to three different people all of whom told me the same story.

    I was getting worried that I had still not heard anything so I sent them an email earlier this week. A lady from the DWP rang me today and in the course of our conversation informed me that Atos had NOT recommended support group, my case was NOT (and never had been) with a senior decision maker! Seemingly someone had entered support group onto the computer instead of work related activity group, that was all!

    So it seems to me that the three people I had spoken to had concocted the story I had been told. Why? I have absolutely no idea! I am just relieved that I have not received, as yet, an appointment date with the jobcentre, because had I taken the advice of the first guy, and not attended, I would have been sanctioned.

    I think the DWP should be renamed the “Once upon a time department” and in keeping with the fairytale theme we could have “IDS in Wonderland”

  11. Jim

    With all the deaths IDS has caused I don’t believe he expects any place in heaven. I believe he more than likely worships the fallen angel Lucifer because he wants his place in that realm. This may make me sound religious, but I’m merely reflecting my belief of what IDS truly believes.

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  13. Anonymous

    If it’s mandatory for the sick and disabled to be assessed by ATOS, why can’t it be made mandatory for IDS and DC to take the Dr Robert Hare ‘Psychopath Test’? Then we’d see just how ‘fit for work’ these pair are. Having ‘Narcissistic Personality Disordered’ human beings running this country helps no-one. These types have no Conscience and Empathy whatsoever. They are Career Criminals. Shifting blame for the country’s debt onto the poor, sick and disabled instead of with the banks is a typical Narcissistic trait, as is ‘distorting the truth’ and ‘pathological lying’. We should demand a general election NOW. 2015 is too long to wait. Throw the Tories out and then demand that DC and IDS stand trial for ‘crimes against humanity’.

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