Mark Pawsey MP Member of Parliament for Rugby challenges the Times on inaccurate benefit figures.
Mark seeks corrections to the article in the Times printed on 28th November:
Rugby MP Mark Pawsey has joined 19 other MPs in signing a letter to the Editor of the Times newspaper asking him to correct a set of grossly inaccurate benefit claimant figures used by the paper.
In a piece published on the 28th November, the Times claimed that the number of people claiming benefits in Rugby had increased by 66.3% between May 2010 and May 2011. In reality the number of claimants had fallen by 3.8%.
Speaking about the incorrect figures and the letter Mark said:
‘This government is committed to tackling the something for nothing culture left behind by the Labour government, and with the introduction of Universal Credit we will ensure that work always pays.’
‘We have already seen a national fall of 0.68% in the number of people claiming benefits and a fall of 3.8% here in Rugby, a fall I expect to continue despite the difficult economic situation we find ourselves in.’
‘The Times’ figures were wholly inaccurate and gave the wrong impression of the progress we are making, not just here in Rugby but also in the country at large. It’s therefore vital that the Times correct the record.’
For further information please contact Mark’s constituency office on 01788 579499.
Copy of letter sent to the Times:
Re: Benefit Claimant figures totally inaccurate
As Members of Parliament for the areas highlighted in your 28th of November article, “Welfare benefit appeals see costs soaring”, we are writing to express our dismay at the fact that you have not corrected the grossly inaccurate figures used within it.
As Nadhim Zahawi MP, pointed out in his letter to you, none of the figures quoted for your top 20 areas were correct, however you chose not to include this paragraph when you published the letter on the 8th of December.
In the piece you wrongly stated that the largest increase in benefit claimants in the country was in Ribble Valley, with an increase of 181.7%. In reality Ribble Valley saw a decrease of 2.36% between May 2010 and May 2011, and all but 7 of the 20 areas you highlighted saw a decrease in claimant numbers (see enclosed). The largest increase anywhere in the country was 4 per cent, significantly below the 181.7% quoted, whilst 65 percent of Local Authority areas recorded a decrease in claimant numbers.
This Government is committed to tackling the something for nothing culture left behind by the Labour government, and with the introduction of universal credit we will ensure that work always pays. Already we have seen a national fall of 0.68% in the number of people claiming benefits and we expect this to continue to fall, despite the tough economic situation we find ourselves in.
As well as being wholly inaccurate the figures used in your article give entirely the wrong impression of, not only the progress we are making, but the situation in the country at large and therefore need correcting.
Member since: 10th July 2012
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