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Tuesday 5 January 2010

A Stroll Across The Astroturf – 9

Back from their Christmas and New Year break this week is the so-called Taxpayers’ Alliance, and today they have posted another work of variable accuracy by their so-called “research fellow” Mike Denham (aka Wat Tyler). Mike (or Wat, if you prefer) is now hot on the public sector “paybill”, which, he suggests, is out of control.

Keeping costs under control is no bad thing, and on this point Mike would have my full support. However, his “research”, with the usual “figures”, has one flaw: he’s made it up. Check out the graph headed “Public Sector Paybill as % of GDP” and the sources for the information it contains. These are “HMT PBR (Pre Budget Report), Public Sector FinStats, and BOM Calcs”. The last of these shows that part of the information has been produced by Denham himself: the text directly above the graph concedes that “We estimate that percentage has risen to nearly 12%”.

So the scary bit at the top right of the graph is from the bloke whose purpose, as with the rest of the TPA crew, is making things look as bad as possible, and thereby enabling the demonising of Government. It should therefore be taken with the largest available pinch of salt.

And what about those accounts?

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