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Lying with statistics

Inequalities

grant-shapps-benef_2441017bIn the midst of the argument we in the UK are currently having about welfare, it’s worth highlighting one factor that’s standing in the way of honest debate. This is politicians’ routine, wilful abuse of numbers.

It’s an old complaint. So old it’s basically a cliché. And this is a big part of the problem. We’re so accustomed to the idea that politicians ‘lie with statistics’ that we’re no longer shocked by even the most egregious examples of the form. We just accept it as par for the course, when there’s absolutely no reason we should.

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