Every month the Dept for Work and Pensions put out statistics purporting to show that few benefit claimants are ‘unfit to work’, with a juicy quote from a minister saying how terrible this is.
Today, the timing is immaculate: the BBC give it a higher billing than the report scathing about the Work Capability Assessment.
‘Only 7% of people claiming sickness benefits were unable to do any sort of work’, the BBC claim that ‘new figures have shown’. This is a monthly press release.
It also uses a statistical sleight of hand to misrepresent the proportion found fit for work. It is usually taken up by the tabloids, who then go through their usual routine of vilification.
The DWP press release regularly insinuates that the 36% of claimants who ‘dropped out of the application process’ were among those found ‘fit for work’, when that proportion of claimants have ceased their claims early for many years.
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