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Tuesday 14 June 2011

TPA – The Strong Jobs Invention

[Update at end of post]

Times are apparently not so good right now for the comfortable of Tufton Street: little in the way of new “research” has appeared of late from the dubiously talented array of non-job holders at the so-called Taxpayers’ Alliance (TPA). Moreover, if the BBC Swivel Chair Shock Horror I covered earlier today is typical, then the demand for their comments is also in decline.

What to do? Well, there still needs to be a steady stream of content from the TPA, even if it is only there to keep spirits up. So chief non-job holder Matthew Sinclair has turned his attention to economics. The TPA likes to give the impression that this is a subject area where it is on solid ground.

Bit quiet on the Second Floor

Sinclair’s piece carries the unequivocal titleStrong Employment Growth”. Sounds good. But the evidence offered in support of this assertion is, at first, no more than opinion, as Sinclair tells “We aren’t facing the kind of dismal prospects that they are in the United States” [no cite], “More people are getting jobs” [ditto] and “businesses are planning to hire lots more over the summer” [see next paragraph].

Quite apart from there always being some extra seasonal employment in the summer months – so this is hardly news – Sinclair then reveals the sole evidence for his assertion that businesses are going to hire more workers: it’s a survey by employment agency Manpower.

Yes, an employment agency survey. Manpower’s MD on the one hand suggests that public sector job cuts aren’t yet happening, then on the other says he is confident that the private sector will be able to fill the gap left by those cuts, even though he doesn’t know what the effect of those cuts will be.

It’s a pitifully thin brew. But fear not: Sinclair has thrown in a quote from the Super Soaraway Currant Bun, a link to one of his rambling diatribes on ConHome, and yet again commended the TPA’s welfare proposals, which included lowering the poverty line, together with the later call for the scrapping of the minimum wage.

So the TPA prescription for improving employment opportunities is to take significant purchasing power out of the economy. There’s Economics 101 for you, or maybe not.

[UPDATE: Paul Staines and his tame gofer Henry Cole are also citing the Manpower survey, which they call "authoritative", so no doubt they'll be betting strongly on it, just as they did on David Laws and Chris Huhne. Kudos to the not so dynamic duo, though, for the brass-necked headline "Unemployment Has Peaked". Yeah, right - another comedy genre inadvertently launched by the Fawkes blog]

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