Monday, 28 February 2011

Did "Labour double kids on the sick"?

The Left Foot Forward blog has performed a masterly take down on the Sun's incredibly misleading "Labour doubled kids on the sick" article from today. It comments on the headline:

A misleading conflation of Disability Living Allowance, which is not an out-of-work benefit, with Incapacity Benefit/Employment Support Allowance: less than half of young DLA claimants receive IB or ESA.

And goes on to present the actual data so you can judge for yourself whether the rise in the numbers claiming since 1997 has been justified or not on the basis of the conditions those receiving the benefit have. It concludes with:

There is a line between selective presentation of data which makes the case for a particular policy, which is legitimate, and suppressing details in order to encourage gross misinterpretation of the evidence, which isn’t. Today’s Sun story is on the wrong side of that line.

The Sun also commented on the story in its leader, presented below in full as the paper's editorials are not archived:

DID Britain's young people get sicker under Labour?


Of course not. But the number of 18 to 24-year-olds on Disability Living Allowance DID explode, from 61,000 in 1997 to 142,000 now.

Labour encouraged people to claim a handout for ailments as slight as an allergy. The bill is now an incredible £12billion a year - equal to Britain's entire transport budget.

No wonder the Coalition wants urgent health assessments. This has to end.

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