Wednesday, 12 December 2012

First Time Buyers Lending LTV Errors in The Guardian

In another blatant error in their use of statistics The Guardian have today claimed that First Time Buyers are putting down an average deposit of 80% which is out of reach of most FTBs!! You can certainly agree that an 80% deposit would be out of reach of virtually all buyers, whether first time or not!

First Time Buyers Lending LTV Errors in The Guardian
First Time Buyers Lending LTV Errors in The Guardian
There seem to be a huge number of numeracy errors in Guardian stories these days, maybe resurrecting their reputation for typos that was generated in the 1980s and has largely been removed as a result of autocorrect and spellcheckers.

Checking the validity of statistics is somewhat harder and can only be done by a human that understands the interpretation of the data, something journalists clearly do not.

For the record the article should have stated that the average Loan to Value (LTV) was 80%, meaning that the average First Time Buyer was putting down a 20% deposit.

Tuesday, 11 December 2012

When Is a Pay Rise Reported as A Pay Cut? When it refers to benefits!


In 2011 the average wage rose at a rate of 1.4% with public sector workers facing a pay freeze. During 2011 the annual inflation during the year was 5.2% so wages rose more slowly than RPI inflation. Benefits rose by the September RPI figure of 5.2%.
When Is a Pay Rise Reported as A Pay Cut? When it refers to benefits!
When Is a Pay Rise Reported as A Pay Cut? When it refers to benefits!

In the December 2012 Autumn Statement, George Osborne announced that benefits would rise by 1% in 2013 and for the following 2 years. This was greeted by a wave of responses claiming huge cuts, benefits being slashed, decimation of welfare and the like.

Did we see any such howls of protest when wages were rising more slowly than prices but benefits were still being automatically uprated by inflation? Did workers shout about a 5.2% pay cut they faced? No I think not.

Remember, benefits are NOT being cut. Welfare is NOT being slashed. Benefits are still rising and are not being cut.

Wages in the NHS and local councils have been frozen without an annual increase so why should benefits be rising by inflation or more when workers have to take no increase at all. The media hysteria about benefit cuts needs to be corrected - there are not cuts but benefits are rising by 1%.
There is a big difference!

Update 12/12/2012:

Yet again the BBC have been referring to benefit cuts by the RISE of 1% but in the same breath  saying that average wage rises at 1.7% are below inflation at 2.7%. 

So a pay rise of 1.7% is called a RISE yet a benefit increase of 1% is still called a CUT.

Double standards anyone?