Earlier in the week Deborah Coddington asked me for information about the invalid and sickness benefit, statistics or direction on where to get them. I sent the following;
For current numbers go to;
Note those are 18-64 year-olds and there are people aged 16 and 17 also receiving sickness and invalid benefits. Last stats I had were 1,250 (combined total) at Oct 2007. They are not routinely published.
That has become the following in her weekly Herald column;
Longtime benefit reform campaigner and one-time Act candidate Lindsay Mitchell said the number of 18- to 64-year-olds on invalid benefits rose at a rate of about 6 per cent a year under the Labour Government, and that doesn't include the 16- and 17-year-olds, about 2000, also drawing this benefit.
I don't know where the first part of the quote comes from. It's not far off the mark though. Having just worked it out, the average yearly increase between 1999 and 2008 is 5.4 percent. But the second part is incorrect.
In 2007 there were 1,113 16-17 year-olds on a invalid's benefit and 137 on a sickness benefit. In a column about the invalidity of the invalid's benefit I wouldn't have mentioned the 1,113 16-17 year-olds simply because they are quite likely to be young people with intellectual disabilities and severe lifetime physical disabilities.
I am happy to help journalists. I don't care if I don't get credit as long as the correct information gets out there.
May 26 in history
4 hours ago