Official statistics ‘abused’ to misrepresent claimants

Coalition government ministers have been guilty of consistently abusing official statistics in order to paint a false picture of benefit claimants, according to disability campaigners. Their report details 35 cases in which it says statistical claims made by ministers relating to work and benefits have fallen below acceptable standards.

Recent cases of abuse

  • Exaggerated statistics on the number of workless households, used by the Prime Minister.
  • Misleading claims regarding the nationality of benefit recipients.
  • Inflated claims for the effectiveness of the Work Programme.
  • Misrepresentation of data regarding the effect of the household benefit cap.
  • Misleading claims concerning the effect of stricter work tests for incapacity benefit claims.

In each of the last four cases listed, coalition ministers were admonished by the official statistics watchdog.

Report into Abuse of Statistics by the Department for Work and Pensions and UK Government Ministers, Disabled People Against Cuts


Publication date: 
Jun 26 2013