National politics

Child Poverty Action Group twisting government data

I have written before about how the Left misuse poverty data and child poverty data.

Today I came across someone, who should know better, who was stretching the truth so far I have to call her a liar.  She must know what she is doing.

Lizzie Flew is a/the Senior Communications and Campaigns Officer at the Child Poverty Action Group – a well established vehicle for the Left.  In this blog titled The new face of child poverty she comments on the latest data from the Department of Work and Pensions, the benchmark Households Below Average Income dataset.

So keen is she to spout the latest Corbynite line-to-take she totally fluffs it and comes out with a huge whopping lie.  She says:

Child poverty remains at 4.1 million according to the main measure we focus on (children whose families live below 60% of the median income) – not something to celebrate given this is still half a million more than 2010, but at least it hasn’t risen.

This is garbage.

According to table 4b of the HBAI data there were 3.9 milion children in relative poverty after housing costs in 2009/2010.

In the latest data (for 2017/2018) that number stands at 4.1 million.  A rise of 200,000 not 500,000.  To get to 500,000 you have to go a year into the Coalition government and use the 2010/2011 data point.  Why did RELATIVE child poverty go down by 300,000 in the first year of the Coalition government?  Because relative poverty measures go down when wages are depressed by financial crises. The crisis reduced RELATIVE child poverty by making many working people poorer.

Meanwhile from 2009/2010 to 2017/2018 the child population has climbed from 13.2 to 13.8 million.  If 30% of children are in relative child poverty then the rise can be accounted for almost entirely by the 180,000 rise in the relevant population.  In other words relative child poverty is unchanged.

In fact if you go to table 4a of the HBAI data you will find that child poverty was 30% in 2009/2010 and was 30% in the latest year for which data is available (2017/2018).

Relative child poverty peaked at 31% under late New Labour 2006/2008.  In the last 8 years of New Labour the average child poverty rate was 29.6%.  For the first 8 years of Conservative government it was 28.5%.  If you want to use relative child poverty, after housing costs, as a yardstick you have to acknowledge that the Conservatives have beaten New Labour on  this metric so far.

I can’t imagine that Lizzie Flew does not know her way around these numbers.  She has actively set out to deceive.

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