Thursday 16 September 2010

The Daily Mail....Pravda for the ruling class

Sometimes even the Daily Mail manages to surpass itself.  On Wednesday it seized upon an Office for National Statistics report on wage comparisons to claim that public sector workers, "on average", earn £136pw - yes you read right - £136pw - more than public sector workers.  Hell...some of my members don't even earn £136pw, let alone that much more than anyone else in the economy! 

Do they really think we're stupid?

There is no indication of how different jobs have been compared; which jobs in the private sector have been compared to teachers, nurses or social workers?  For a start if one looks at how the ONS actually defines "public sector", then many of the lowest paid people providing public services have been excluded because most of them have been contracted out to the private sector.  The "public sector" also includes bank workers - on the technical basis that the Government now, in theory, owns the banks.  It is well-established that the public sector contains a greater proportion of professionally qualified staff which skews the comparisons even more. 

Of course none of these subtleties register with the Daily Fail (see the excellent Tabloid Watch for more examples of just how woeful their "journalism" is) - the agenda here is clear.  Create the impression of a featherbedded public sector, the better to convince people of the cuts agenda.

Dont fall for it.

1 comment:

Paul Tindall said...

I've no idea where the Fail is even getting these statistics, as their article conveniently doesn't quote what study they're using as a source (it really ought to be the law that if a newspaper article quotes a study, they have to explicitly name the study, its authors, and, if possible, give a URL.) The ONS did release a study on Wednesday:

however it shows the gap as being £22.00 a week more for the public sector (£464 to £442, see table 6 under the Average Weekly Earnings - Supplementary Tables spreadsheet.)

The Fail includes pensions as part of your earnings so I'd have thought they just added the average pension on top to come up with their figure, except their article gives a figure of £539 a week in the public sector before pensions, which doesn't match this study or any others I can find on the ONS site.