The Times ran false ‘£1000 on families’ story. Now it’s true, where are the headlines?

Bogus claim about Labour made the front page, but neutrality breaks out when it's Osborne


The Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) has crunched the numbers and says George Osborne’s budget will leave 3 million people on average £1000 a year worse off.

This and other findings by the IFS have been covered by the Tory press – who apparently feel no shame at having trumpeted the same budget just 24 hours ago.

But there was another story a few months ago which was treated very differently.

The Times newspaper ran a front page story on Friday, April 24, claiming a Labour government would mean £1000 more tax for ‘every working family’. (Click to enlarge.)

The Times, £1000 correction

Just over a week later, on May 2, the paper admitted this was completely wrong.

It ran a correction, and on June 19 was forced by the Independent Press Standards Organisation (IPSO) to run the correction on its front page.

So a false and baseless claim – disproved even in the original story, as the correction makes clear – was plastered on the front of the former newspaper of record weeks before the election.

But when families are actually facing a £1000 raid on their bank balances, its just one story among many in the budget coverage.

As with Osborne’s aping of Ed Miliband’s pledge to abolish non-dom status, the difference in coverage reveals the party bias of British newspapers.

Today’s Times even has a cartoon with George Osborne dressed as the claymation character Wallace, with a naked Miliband in the background – Osborne has ‘stolen Labour’s clothes’.

But is that a good thing? Does the Times support any policy, even Labour policies, if they are brought in by the Conservative party?

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

Read more: 

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

Tory press shirks its duty and waves pom-poms for Osborne’s budget

Sign up for our weekly email by clicking here.

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.