Times runs ‘Labour’s £1,000 tax on families’ correction on front page after IPSO ruling

Murdoch paper ordered to re-publish correction of false claim about Labour's tax plans


The Times newspaper has today published a correction of an erroneous story about Labour’s tax plans on its front page and website, after a press watchdog ruling.

The Independent Press Standards Organisation (IPSO) ordered the paper to re-publish its correction of May 2 on its front page and the homepage of its website, where it must remain for 48 hours.

The story, published on the paper’s front page in the run-up to the general election  on April 24, falsely claimed Labour’s tax plans would mean £1000 more tax for ‘every working family’.

Just over a week later it published a small correction on its letters page admitting this was completely false.

You can read the full correction below.

IPSO said it was valuable to publish corrections in an established place in the paper, but added: “However, the committee was concerned that the newspaper had prominently published material which was so plainly inaccurate.

“Given the nature and prominence of the original breach, the prominence of the correction was not sufficient and therefore the requirements of Clause 1 (ii) had not been met.”


From the Times

This correction was first published on May 2. It is being republished today with a cross-reference from page 1 following an upheld complaint ruling by the Independent Press Standards Organisation.

We said that “Ed Miliband would saddle every working family with extra taxes equivalent to more than £1,000” (“Labour’s £1,000 tax on families“, April 24). This was inaccurate. The calculation assumes that the extra taxes are shared equally among what the Office for National Statistics defines as “working households” (where all those over the age of 16 are working). In fact, as was explained elsewhere in our article, “the bulk of Labour’s tax rises will come from a raid on the richest pension pots, a ‘mansion tax’ on properties worth more than £2 million, the re-introduction of the 50p rate and additional levies on banks and tobacco firms”. Some of these taxes and levies will only apply to companies, and the others will affect a small minority of families, not “every working family” as we reported.


Adam Barnett is a staff writer at Left Foot Forward. Follow MediaWatch on Twitter

Read more: 

Times admits ‘Labour’s £1000 tax on families’ story was wrong

Telegraph’s James Bartholomew apologises for ‘error’ after MediaWatch scrutiny

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7 Responses to “Times runs ‘Labour’s £1,000 tax on families’ correction on front page after IPSO ruling”

  1. blarg1987

    Considering how close it was to en election, there should be further penalties for any media outlet that lies to the public otherwise we are giving a license for the media to lie and have politicians elected that represent their interests or that of their proprietor.

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  5. Dave Stewart

    I have often thought it should be made a criminal (or at the very least civil) offence to deliberately mislead the public. Of course it would be very difficult to prove this however there are occasional instances such as this where it is so clear cut that conviction would be possible. Such a law should apply to everyone but should be especially enforced when it comes to those who a) have a significant platform to spread such falsehoods, b) have the ability to significantly affect public opinion and c) politicians. I would also strongly support a move to make lying to parliament a criminal offence. Again in most cases difficult to prove but in some not so difficult. After one or two successful prosecutions I would hope that fear of the repercussions would force people to seriously consider the personal consequences of trying to deceive the nation. We have to remember that if you do not have a well informed populace democracy does not work.

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