Finally, among those who should have known better who uncritically repeated the claim, Tim Worstall deserves special mention https://www.timworstall.com/2013/04/01/interesting-number-eh/?utm_source=twit… simply because he accused another blogger, and indeed all \’lefties\’, of being \’lying scumbags\’ https://www.timworstall.com/2013/04/01/yes-of-course-lefties-are-lying-scumba… while failing to locate, let alone understand, the original data.]
Steve Walker\’s claim was that Shapps must be wrong because the official figures only go up to 2009. This is not true. Therefore Steve Walker was wrong in his specific claim.
Whatever else has happened to benefits and the number claiming them does not change this simple point. Walker depended on a misreading of the statistics as the central core of his logical argument. He was wrong in doing so.
Just to repeat this. Walker looked at the landing page for the statistics and saw this:
Geographic coverage: Great Britain
Time coverage: 2002 to 2009
Type of data: Administrative data
Then he concluded that since the numbers only went to 2009 then Shapps must be, could only be, wrong.
However, downloading the actual statistics, rather than relying upon the landing page, gives you numbers up to May/August 2012 (depends upon which series you look at). Thus, and I repeat this again, Walker is wrong in the \”fact\” that he uses as the centre of his logical argument.