Saturday 11 May 2013

Saturday, May 11, 2013 Posted by Jake 1 comment Labels: , , , , , , ,
Posted by Jake on Saturday, May 11, 2013 with 1 comment | Labels: , , , , , , ,

The government gets regularly rapped by its own statistics body, the UK Statistics Authority, for making up stuff to support government policies. In May 2013 the Secretary of State for Works and Pensions, Iain Duncan-Smith, was put on the naughty step for fibbing about the number of people enthused into getting a job as a justification for his draconian policy of cutting benefits. 

Duncan-Smith's claim that the statistics "clearly demonstrates that the cap is having the desired impact" was quickly shot down by the UK Statistics Authority. The Authority declared the statistic "explicitly states that the figures are 'not intended to show the additional numbers entering work'". The decrease in claimants was actually due to policy changes that reduced the number being counted. Andrew Dilnot, Chairman of the UK Statistics Authority, wrote:

"We have concluded that the statement attributed to the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions that ‘Already we’ve seen 8,000 people who would have been affected by the cap move into jobs. This clearly demonstrates that the cap is having the desired impact’, is unsupported by the official statistics published by the Department on 15 April.

The release Ad-hoc statistics on JobCentre Plus activity, from which the 8,000 figure appears to be drawn, explicitly states that the figures are ‘not intended to show the additional numbers entering work as a direct result of the contact’. The release Ad-hoc statistics on households identified points out a number of policy changes that occurred between the publication of the 56,000 and 40,000 numbers, as well as caseload changes ‘due to normal caseload churn, reducing those potentially in scope for the cap’."

Politicians rarely allow truth to get in the way of policy. 
Another statistic that is grotesquely misused is the average pay in the Public and the Private Sectors. The two great heists being perpetrated on us ripped-off Britons in the name of 'austerity' are changes to pensions and the outsourcing of public services. Of these two, the greater is the outsourcing of public services:

  • One reason the private sector can cut costs is it cuts the pay of all except top executives. (Remember, these services employ and pay ordinary people like us).
  • Another reason the private sector can cut costs is it cuts the scope and quality of what the service formerly provided. . (Remember, these services serve ordinary people like us who can't afford directly to buy private health, education, legal services etc.).
  • The objective of the service ceases to be to serve the public, and becomes to serve the shareholders. (Remember, on the basis that 'he who pays the piper calls the tune', the privatised service will think twice before criticising the governments that pay them).

Recent governments, Tory and Labour, have used the true fact that the average salary in the public sector is higher than that in the private sector to justify the privatisation of public services. In November 2012 the Office of National Statistics produced a report and video politely debunking government claims that public sector staff are overpaid, providing statistical reasons for the overall higher average pay. We summarise the main points below:

a) Public sector jobs have a higher proportion of higher skill jobs. Just as in the private sector, higher skilled jobs attract higher pay.

b) Public sector workers tend to be older. Just as in the private sector experienced staff tend to be paid more.

c) In both private and public sectors, those who work in larger organisations are paid considerably more (24.9% more) than those in smaller organisations. 94% of the public sector but only 49% of the private sector fall into the category of 'larger organisation'.

c) The group of people who are actually "overpaid" compared to the private sector are not the 'fat cats' but the poorest group. The lower paid groups are paid better in the Public Sector, while the higher paid groups are paid less.

The higher pay of the few is funded by the lower pay of the many:

Privatisation may mean costs are lower in the short term. However, in practical terms this means:
  • Lower pay and services for the public who are employed and who are served. 
  • Higher private sector profits, to fund pay and dividends for company executives and shareholders. 
  • Lower taxes for those who pay tax. Rather than being taxed to maintain public sector services, they use the money they save to go private.
The greatest loss of all is the most powerful force protecting the interests of ordinary Britons: all those other ordinary Britons working in the public service watching the interests of us ordinary Britons. They may not be driven by heroism, but they are also not driven by profit.

1 comment:

  1. A typical example of this would be in a hospital where the Doctors are higher paid and public sector while the low paid ancillary staff have all been outsourced.


Note: only a member of this blog may post a comment.

Share This

Follow Us

  • Subscribe via Email

Search Us