The graphic they are tweeting is utter nonsense. It is based on a House of Commons Library paper reported here in the Evening Standard. I don’t suppose “journalist” Nicholas Cecil even bothered to read the original paper. I guess he just went with the Labour press release.
The silly apples and oranges comparison made in the paper compares average wages earned in very unusual places like Kensington and Chelsea with private rents in those boroughs. I couldn’t afford to rent in K&C when I came to London in 1984. I didn’t even think about it even though I had a relatively well paid graduate job. I ended up in Willsden Green. The comparison doesn’t include rents paid by people in those boroughs in social homes. It is utter nonsense.
For a bit of sanity go to the Office for National Statistics (ONS) who are working on a new Index of Private Housing Rental Prices (IPHRP). According to ONS in the year to December 2013 private rental prices paid by tenants in Great Britain rose by 1.0%.
Sure the ONS reckons London rents actually paid by private tenants are rising at a faster rate than the rest of the country – 1.6%. Wherever Labour got its number from it either estate agents’ nonsense or something made up by Labour. The ONS says 1.6%.
The main purpose of this typically mendacious campaign is to drive you to a webpage to sign a petition and give them your details so that they can hassle you electronically in the run up to the London council elections in May.
Update: The Full Fact orgnanisation looked into this and found out where Labour’s number came from. It comes with this qualification:
… the composition of the sample [used to produce rental data] varies over time and therefore caution is advised when drawing comparisons between the statistics reported in the period reported in this release and those for different time periods due to those variations.
Full Fact conclude:
So most of the indicators suggest 10% is an exaggerated figure for London’s private rental market, and we’ll be asking Labour to use more comparable figures for their rental claims.
I am sure Labour will ignore Fullfact’s request.
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