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Torys call for less spin on national statistics

The Conservative Party has unveiled a radical plan to make the compilation of national statistics free from political interference, and remove the suspicion that government ministers fiddle the figures.

This government has a track record of using statistics to mislead, rather than inform people.

There has, for instance, been an increasing lack of transparency in the pre-Budget report and Budget report.

Gordon Browns forecasts in last weeks PBR were challenged by almost every independent economic forecaster in Britain.

Many economists have concluded that he has a large black hole in his finances which will lead to tax rises if Labour are re-elected.

The Conservatives say that the chancellors golden rule has been devalued because the system is so opaque, and because the chancellor himself decides when the economic cycle begins and ends.

This highlights growing concerns in recent years that national statistics are not being presented in an impartial and accessible way.

The Conservative Party claims to have addressed this problem with the publication of two papers, ‘Framework for Fiscal Accountability’ and ‘Framework for Statistical Accountability.’

Their purpose is to ensure that all statistics and projections are impartially and accessibly presented by independent bodies, instead of being hopelessly complicated and presented in a way that assists the governments case.

Oliver Letwin, shadow chancellor, says: “People have been misled by this government for too long. It has been manipulating the statistics on every front for its own ends. This needs to be put right.

“The Conservative Party has made accountability one of its fundamental principles. Accountability means transparency.

“Our legislation will create an independent Fiscal Projection Committee within the National Audit Office and an independent National Statistics Office.

“This will give Britain the most accountable and transparent fiscal framework for accounting and national statistics in the world. It will also give Britain the world’s most accountable and transparent framework for national statistics.”


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