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Anorak | When Governments Lie: Following The Argentina Model

When Governments Lie: Following The Argentina Model

by | 24th, October 2011

GOVERNMENTS lie all the time of course for you know that a politician is lying when you see his lips move. However, there are lies and lies: we all know that “Vote for me a it’ll all be fine” is a lie. We might not know that “US poverty is at an all time high” or “Rents are unaffordable for many families” are for they depends upon detailed statistics which are simply too geektastic for most of us to give a shit.

But just as an example, Shelter released a report last week which said that private rents are now unaffordable in 55% of British cities. And, well, sorta, but not in the way it’s being reported. Yes, rents are high, because houses are expensive.

However, what Shelter said is that rents are too high as a percentage of take home pay. What is being reported they said is that rents are too high as a percentage of household income. These are not the same thing at all: take home income is wages after taxes. Household income is wages after taxes plus benefits.

This is fairly important, because one of the benefits on offer in the UK is housing benefit: so measuring rent as a percentage of take home pay is interesting but not very important: what we want to know is how many people still can’t afford the rent after we’ve given them housing benefit to help pay the rent.

This isn’t the government lying of course, this is just an

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Posted: 24th, October 2011 | In: Money Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed: RSS 2.0 | TrackBack | Permalink