Popular misconception #29: How many people in the UK depend on food banks?

Kirkcaldy's Testing works from popularmisconceptions.wordpress.com

The motto of this blog is drawn from Kirkcaldy’s Testing Works in Southwark. Because in these difficult times, as a matter of fact, facts matter. Let’s fight fear with facts.

 

Earlier in the year, we published a post about how many people were relying food banks in the UK. According to the figures we had, according to Oxfam and Church Action Poverty, in May this year, more than half a million people were relying on food banks for their daily bread.

According to the Trussell Trust, the charity that runs the majority of food banks in our country, 913,138 people were given 3 days’ emergency food and support in 2013-14.(Notwithstanding the fact that they may never have learned to cook properly, as certain people might have it.)

Please use this fact to fight fear.


Popular misconception #28: are the poor getting richer? or poorer?

Kirkcaldy's Testing works from popularmisconceptions.wordpress.com

The motto of this blog is drawn from Kirkcaldy’s Testing Works in Southwark. Because in these difficult times, as a matter of fact, facts matter. Let’s fight fear with facts.

David Cameron spent a lot of time during the last election campaign explaining that ‘we are all in this together’. A new study published today concludes that some of us may be more ‘in it’ than others. So have the poor got richer under the coalition? It’s time to find out the facts.

According to the authors of the report*, changes to the way benefits are paid and to the tax credit regime mean that income has been transferred from the poorer half of households to the richer. In particular, the poorest of people in terms of income have lost almost 3 pence out of every pound they would have had if the tax and welfare system of May 2010 was still in place.

By contrast, the richer half of the country has gained between 1.2 and 2 per cent of their disposable income. (Although the top 5 per cent of earners have lost 1p in every pound.)

Those are the facts. Please use them in the fight agains fear.

* Paola De Agostini and Professor Holly Sutherland at the university of Essex, and Professor John Hills at the LSE

You can read the full report here: http://sticerd.lse.ac.uk/dps/case/spcc/wp10.pdf


Popular misconception #27.5: where did yesterday’s data come from?

Kirkcaldy's Testing works from popularmisconceptions.wordpress.com

The motto of this blog is drawn from Kirkcaldy’s Testing Works in Southwark. Because in these difficult times, as a matter of fact, facts matter. Let’s fight fear with facts.

One of our readers suggested that it would be useful to share the source for yesterday’s data. I agree, because it makes the difference between dealing in facts and dealing in opinions. (And the latter is really rather pointless.) The data comes from this spreadsheet about Government spending from the DWP. You can find it here:

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0AonYZs4MzlZbdHNXNW4yTlNMZllOZmRSOTRWTDNwWXc#gid=11

Please use the facts it contains in the fight against fear.


Popular misconception #27: How much of the ‘welfare budget’ is spent on unemployment benefit (and how much is spent on pensions?)

This graphic shows the breakdown of what the Government is pleased to call 'welfare' spending.

This graphic shows the breakdown of what the Government is pleased to call ‘welfare’ spending.

Mr Osborne is kindly sending us a statement soon that will tell us how our taxes are broken down. It will include a figure for welfare, but Suzanne Moore pointed out in the Guardian, it will not break that figure down. So what is ‘welfare’ spending spent on? Is it all benefits for unemployed people and ‘benefits tourists’, as Mr Farage would no doubt have us believe? Or is it actually mostly spent on the state pension and on housing benefit that goes directly into landlords’ pockets.

The graphic above shows that in 2011/12, three per cent of welfare payments were spent on Jobseeker’s Allowance, and five per cent on Income Support. While 46 per cent went on the state pension and 14 per cent on housing benefit payments. So more than six times the amount spent on unemployed people was given to pensioners.

Those are the facts. Please use them in the fight against fear.


Popular misconception #26: How many Muslims are there in the UK

Kirkcaldy's Testing works from popularmisconceptions.wordpress.com

The motto of this blog is drawn from Kirkcaldy’s Testing Works in Southwark. Because in these difficult times, as a matter of fact, facts matter. Let’s fight fear with facts.

Amid all the chaos surrounding the prime minister’s recent tub-thumping about immigration, and at least one Conservative MP asserting that the UK was being ‘swamped’ by immigrants, now might be a good time to consider the facts.

According to a new survey by Ipsos Mori reveals that people in Great Britain believe that 21 per cent of the population is Muslim. In fact, the real figure is 5 per cent. Please use it in the fight against fear.


Popular misconception #25: do immigrants cost ‘us’ money?

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Kirkcaldy’s Testing Works is the appropriate motto for this blog that uses facts to fight fear through popular misconceptions

How little immigrants cost 'us' from www.popularmisconceptions.wordpress.com

Immigrants contribute more and cost less than people who were born in the UK, essentially.

Nigel Farage and his growing army of admirers on both sides of the House of Commons would have us believe that immigrants cost the UK money. But what are the facts?

According to new research conducted by the Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration at University College, London, immigrants who arrived after 1999 were 45 per cent less likely to receive state benefits or tax credits than UK natives.

Furthermore, those from the European Economic Area (EU plus Liechtenstein and Norway) have contributed 34 per cent more as a group than they have received in benefits.

Please use these fights to fight fear.

 

 

 

 

 

 


Popular misconception #24: which are better, ‘free schools’ or state schools?

Kirkcaldy's Testing works from popularmisconceptions.wordpress.com

The motto of this blog is drawn from Kirkcaldy’s Testing Works in Southwark. Because in these difficult times, as a matter of fact, facts matter. Let’s fight fear with facts.

Michael Gove has been making a lot of noise about how well ‘free’ schools are doing.  But are they actually doing any better than other schools inspected by Ofsted? Let’s find out:

* According to an answer by Ofsted to a parliamentary question from Jim Cunningham MP, 16 per cent of free schools were rated as ‘outstanding’ compared to 20 per cent of all schools. So that’s 25 per cent less.

* Fifty-six per cent of free schools were also rated as good compared to 58 per cent of all schools; and 19 per cent of free schools were rated as ‘satisfactory/requires improvement’ compared to 20 per cent of all schools. That’s pretty much the same.

* Eight per cent of free schools were rated as ‘poor’ by Ofsted, compared to just 2 per cent of all schools. That’s 400 per cent worse.

Those are the facts. Please use them to fight fear. 


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