The latest Conservative Party attack viral has been slammed by fact-checkers for a series of made up statistics on school discipline, quangos and job losses.
The latest Conservative Party attack viral has been slammed by fact-checkers for a series of made up statistics on school discipline, quangos and job losses. Several Tory claims, in a video titled “What happens in 1 Minute of Labour” are seriously inaccurate and misleading – some by factors of nearly 400 per cent.
School suspensions: Tory claim: “Four children are suspended from school every minute” – equates to 2.102 million a year. The truth: In 2007/08, there were 456,411 exclusions (permanent and fixed-term). Tory mark-up: 361 per cent.
Quangos: Tory claim: “Every minute the Government takes £964,612 from us in tax while unelected quangos cost the taxpayer £170,765” – equivalent to £89.754 billion a year. The truth: In 2008/09, non-departmental public bodies cost £38.4 billion. Tory mark-up: 134 per cent.
In September, Left Foot Forward exposed more right-wing lies on quangos; the Daily Mail had claimed the figure was £170 billion, saying there had been “a seven-fold rise since Labour came to power”.
Employment: Tory claim: “Every minute two people lose their jobs” – equal to 1.051 million a year. The truth: A year ago, 29.2 million people were employed; the current figure is 28.8 million, a total of 406,000 job losses. Tory mark-up: 159 per cent.
Their figures on violent crimes, tax and CO2 emissions are, however, accurate – yet each raise questions of their own.
Violent crimes: The video’s crime stat tallies with the British Crime Survey – yet David Cameron and his shadow home secretary Chris Grayling have consistently spoken out against the BCS, preferring instead to look at police recorded crime. The BCS, though, appears to be good enough for their video.
Tax: The video says tax receipts will be £507 billion – yet fails to spell out which public services will be slashed under the Tories in their haste to cut this sum.
CO2 emissions: The video correctly says “915 tones of carbon dioxide are release into our atmosphere” – but with all three parties signed up to the Copenhagen emission-reduction plans, it is difficult to see how the Tories would reduce this faster than Labour, and in any case, Tory candidates placed “reducing Britain’s carbon footprint” 19th out of 19 in a list of priorities for an incoming Cameron government.Like this article? Sign up to Left Foot Forward's weekday email for the latest progressive news and comment - and support campaigning journalism by making a donation today.