Thursday, September 13, 2012

Eoin Clarke, you are being illogical ...

While I am no respecter of Atos (in this or any other field) and have sympathy for people who have fallen or, worse, been forced through the cracks in the system, this is a (yet another) defective argument:

A minutiae of intelligence is required to grasp the fact that if these people who are found fit to work are now a) not working b) not actively seeking work then they must not have been fit for work in the first place.

Nope. They could have not bothered. They could be doing something that makes them ineligible for benefits, for example (i.e. university, won the lottery). Or they may, indeed, be suffering on the scrap heap of uncaring Coalition-dom.


From the table he posts (p37 of this), there is a note attached to his 43% figure. What does it say?:

Most in this category answered ‘other to’ the question; ‘other categories’ included in training or education or on a government scheme.

Okay, so - and although this does not mean we don't need to do something - his 43% figure is at least halved? Let's look at the next table on p38. This seems to be difficult to make consistent with the note above - unless you assume they are looking at completely different things.

Ah. 14% are self reporting as permanently sick, 8% temporarily sick (no job), 5% temporarily sick (from a job - so on SSP as a minimum?), and 8% simply unemployed. Now, why that latter 8% are outwith the benefits system, I'm not sure (Savings? Partner's earnings? Not bothered applying? Tried but failed to jump through the DWP hoops?).

So we have 22% of people who are not "fit to hold a job" in their opinion (or that of the market) - even if we assume they are all correct - we've already halved Eoin's headline figure.

I'm probably making mistakes here. But then, I'm a PONPI (person of no political importance).

Update: Table 5.9 on p51 says that only 15% of claimants who were FFW or withdrew their claim, at Wave 2, expected to be "unable to work due to sickness", with a further 12% "don't know'. The summary on p54 states that 23% of FFW saw themselves as permanently unfit for work.

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