UNISONActive is an unofficial blog produced by UNISON activists for UNISON activists. Bringing news, briefings and events from a progressive left perspective.

Tuesday, 12 March 2013

FactCheck? What a load of blogocks

Patrick Worrall writes on Channel 4 website what at first glance appears to be a credible, albeit critical, analysis of UNISON's position on jobless numbers. However scratch below the surface and we have yet another example of frankly lazy and silly journalism. The headline says it all ‘what UNISON isn’t telling you about jobs’. Should that line not be ‘what the Government is not telling you about jobs’?

The massaging of statistics by successive governments is nothing new but the same old tactics are alive and kicking. Claim unemployment is going down by re-categorising jobs and reclassifying those considered to be ‘unemployed’.

Worrall’s laughably named ‘factchecker blog’ pays no regard to the fact that the Government claims they do not know the numbers of people on workfare programmes but it is estimated that this could be half a million people. Thousands of young people also start on work experience or workfare schemes every month and figures suggest these are in the region of about 8,000 per month.

With the recent Duncan Smith crackdown on benefits, and the labour Government’s own initiatives since 2009 around half a million people have been removed altogether from benefits counts through the imposition of benefits sanctions.

So even without taking in consideration those who are ‘self-employed’ but make up their money through tax credits or those hundreds of thousands of workers on zero hours contracts or the offer of part time jobs for those seeking full time work the ‘fact checker’ claims seems to me to be a right load of old blogocks.

Anna Rose