IDS makes embarrassing ‘correction’ to claim


7:00 pm - November 18th 2010

by Sunny Hundal    


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Yesterday Don Paskini highlighted that Iain Duncan Smith had recently misled the House of Commons over housing, by citing figures from property website rather than official numbers.

He had claimed that, according to the Office for National Statistics, private landlords had increased the cost of benefit.

But the figures did not stack up and were disputed by several who worked in the housing sector.

Today, Ian Fletcher, director of policy at the British Property Federation, said:

DWP press officers and Ministers should not cut fast and loose with dodgy stats. I think the public will draw their own conclusions when the Secretary of State has access to the best statisticians in the land via the Office for National Statistics, and best rental data via the Valuation Office, and yet would prefer to use findaproperty.com.

In an age of austerity it makes you wonder why taxpayers are paying for all these Government statisticians if the department would rather look up any old statistic off the web than use the professionals they have at their disposal.

Asked if IDS would make an apology to the House of Commons, a spokesperson from the DWP told PoliticsHome: “A correction has been made. That’s all I can say.”

The spokesperson added:

This is a distraction from the important point the Secretary of State was making that whilst rents in the private sector went down between November 2008 and February 2010, private sector rents for housing benefit claimants went up.

It’s not a distraction – IDS misled the House, and for that he should apologise.

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About the author
Sunny Hundal is editor of LC. Also: on Twitter, at Pickled Politics and Guardian CIF.
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Reader comments


What’s the issue here? Are the stats wrong, or is it just the fact that it wasn’t an ONS stat when IDS claimed it was?

What he said was wrong because he claimed it was an ONS stat, when it was actually derived from just one website. See the link to DP’s article.

3. Laughing Gravy

I can not see this story going anywhere. An incorrect attribution of source has been corrected, but the substance of the original article was over interpretation of the figures. Interpretation is always open to interpretation!

Reminds me of Blair’s dodgy dossier based on the thesis of a university student.

@4

I think a significant majority are agreed that Tony Blair’s actions were perpetrated for the interests and benefit of Tony Blair – and not the party which, for better or worse, he led. In fact, I’d say that in the long term his actions actually did more harm than good to the party as a whole.


Reactions: Twitter, blogs
  1. Liberal Conspiracy

    IDS forced into embarrassing 'correction' over housing claim http://bit.ly/dnk3KC

  2. Lee Hyde

    RT @libcon: IDS forced into embarrassing 'correction' over housing claim http://bit.ly/dnk3KC

  3. Pucci Dellanno

    RT @libcon: IDS forced into embarrassing 'correction' over housing claim http://bit.ly/dnk3KC

  4. Andy S

    RT @libcon: IDS forced into embarrassing 'correction' over housing claim http://bit.ly/dnk3KC

  5. Andy S

    “@libcon: IDS forced into embarrassing 'correction' over housing claim http://bit.ly/dnk3KC” < @grantshapps – time to drop the BS too, eh?

  6. sunny hundal

    Yesterday @donpaskini showed how Iain Duncan Smith misled HoC on housing stats. Today they've 'corrected' themselves http://bit.ly/dnk3KC

  7. ian robathan

    RT @libcon: IDS forced into embarrassing 'correction' over housing claim http://bit.ly/dnk3KC

  8. R Gordon

    RT @libcon: IDS forced into embarrassing 'correction' over housing claim http://bit.ly/dnk3KC

  9. Tudor Evans

    RT @libcon: IDS forced into embarrassing 'correction' over housing claim http://bit.ly/dnk3KC

  10. Nick H.

    RT @libcon: IDS forced into embarrassing 'correction' over housing claim http://bit.ly/dnk3KC

  11. yorkierosie

    @libcon: IDS forced into embarrassing 'correction' over housing claim http://bit.ly/dnk3KC >>Misinforblumminmation!

  12. Wendy Maddox

    RT @libcon: IDS forced into embarrassing 'correction' over housing claim http://bit.ly/dnk3KC

  13. Rachel Hubbard

    IDS makes embarrassing ‘correction’ to claim | Liberal Conspiracy: http://bit.ly/bW5uxo via @addthis

  14. Pickled Politics » Why Ed Miliband is right to play the long game

    […] to be very difficult to oppose them in the short term. Especially since the Tories are masters at lying and framing their arguments in a way that wins public […]





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