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Prejudice leads to lies about benefit cheating
10:25am Wednesday 28th November 2012 in Letters
YOUR anonymous reader TMW (Globe, November 14) rejects my claim, based on Department of Work & Pensions' statistics, that only one-in-200 benefit claimants are cheating.
He argues that "official" statistics cannot be trusted.
He may be unaware that the independent Office for National Statistics has transformed data quality in recent years and aggressively attacked this Government and the last for deliberately misusing such data.
As a result politicians now cannot get away with lying on the basis of "official" data and are often forced to ignore it and to fall back on hand waving, anecdotal evidence and appeals to the popular prejudices of uninformed voters.
When such lying, for ideological reasons, or to push a particular agenda, adversely affects the lives of vulnerable people, it must be exposed and condemned.
Professor D P Gregg (retired),