And on those disability claims

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.]

Sadly, no.

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.

6 thoughts on “And on those disability claims”

  1. Surreptitious Evil

    Hmmm, yes. I have no real opinion about whether the number is accurate or not. Nor whether there is the causal link between more robust (or harsher) assessments (and I personally would trust ATOS as far as I could fart them – hard personal experience) and withdrawals from whichever benefit this actually is about. (I’m confused: DLA, IB, ESA, TLA, NFI?)

    Frankly, Shapps is a politician so it is generally safe to assume that if he isn’t actually lying he is merely wrong. So I’m perfectly happy with the broader points that this is all natural movement in the benefit, that it is all the last Labour government’s doing (whether you think it ‘fault’ or not) or that the number has been pulled out of some SpADs behind and is completely meaningless (even if technically ‘accurate’ in some context or other.)

    Or, even, that “Tories are bastards”.

  2. Surreptitious Evil

    Oh, ‘happy with’ doesn’t mean ‘agree with’. Just that I can see them all as as plausible an explanation as ‘the tests have made some shirkers withdraw their benefit claims’. Which, is probably actually true. If not necessarily to the scale Shapps claimed or, with the additional stress it puts on legitimate claimants, of net benefit to society.

  3. Reading your intervention on Ritchie’s blog was fun; thanks Tim. Observations:
    1. Ritchie and Steve have fallen back on claiming the 2009/2012 issue isn’t actually the primary basis of his piece anyway,so you’re a bastard. It pays therefore to scroll back up to the top: no, not the main basis; the ONLY basis.
    2. You openly call it a good thing to have happened, regardless of which gov’t gets the credit. This makes you a callous bastard doesn’t it. However, Ritchie’s post itself contains the same statement “Labour fixed it”. Apparently it’s a compassionate sentiment when it’s his.
    3. Apparently all YOU do is abuse people you Bastard, Bastard, Bastard. The evidence in the posts to the contrary must therefore be a trick of the light.
    4. Hello Richard, we know you’re reading this.

  4. Hilarious exchange on Murphy’s blog:

    1) Murphy posts the Walker claim (the result, he says, of “thorough left wing research”) that the reduction in sick claimants was under Labour, not the Tories.

    2) Commentator points out this means Labour were responsible for throwing the sick of benefits.

    3) Murphy says no, Labour’s action was responsible, the Tories’ action is callous.

    4) Commentator asks how that can be, since the stats Murphy triumphantly quotes claim to show that the whole reduction happened under Labour’s watch, none under the Tories.

    5) Murphy accuses commentator of time-wasting and threatens to delete him.

    Vintage Murphy. Full quotes below:

    Just a Plebe says: “We need to put the blame for this injustice squarely on the head of Labour. Unbelievable!”

    Richard Murphy says: “Hang on. Some, but a very long at from all”

    Just a Plebe says: “As Steve Walker

  5. Ah, of course, the nested quote thing. The full exchange again:

    Hilarious exchange on Murphy’s blog:

    1) Murphy posts the Walker claim (the result, he says, of “thorough left wing research”) that the reduction in sick claimants was under Labour, not the Tories.

    2) Commentator points out this means Labour were responsible for throwing the sick of benefits.

    3) Murphy says no, Labour’s action was responsible, the Tories’ action is callous.

    4) Commentator asks how that can be, since the stats Murphy triumphantly quotes claim to show that the whole reduction happened under Labour’s watch, none under the Tories.

    5) Murphy accuses commentator of time-wasting and threatens to delete him.

    Vintage Murphy. Full quotes below:

    Just a Plebe says: “We need to put the blame for this injustice squarely on the head of Labour. Unbelievable!”

    Richard Murphy says: “Hang on. Some, but a very long at from all”

    Just a Plebe says: “As Steve Walker*s piece points out, this benefits cull by Labour took place while they were in office. How are they not absolutely responsible for this social injustice?”

    Richard Murphy says: “Putting in place systems to stop abuse is a government*s job. There always some abuse. It may have been too tough but no one can say it was callous”

    Just a Plebe says: “I am sure those being tossed out on their ear would disagree. What will Labour advocate next, a return to the workhouse?”

    Richard Murphy says: “Respectfully – you seem to be very confused or are time wasting. I reserve the right to delete those not posting with real names”

  6. I admit I had never heard of this blogger until yesterday when Murphy sprung this one us – Even leaving apart the statistical sleight of hand, the exchange between you and Murphy is priceless (how long since you have made it on to the comments section?) and just shows the utter bankruptcy of his position (in a literal sense)

    As to the Central point, The Conservatives and Mainstream press colluding in allegedly lying – What the bloody hell does Murphy and indeed Walker think the likes of the BBC, Guardian and Independent have been doing since their establishment (and certainly in the last 30 years) – telling the truth unvarnished? Do these people have no sense of shame?

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