From: BARWELL, Gavin
Sent: 04 November 2014 08:41
To: REED, Steve
Subject: FW: Library response: Housing Benefit claimants in employment
I see you have a question at Treasury Questions today on the number of working people receiving tax credits. I suspect you may use this as an opportunity to repeat your claim that the number of working people in Croydon receiving Housing Benefit has increased by 1,100%.
See below an email from the House of Commons Library that makes it crystal clear that the official figures on which you have based your calculation are wrong (the number jumps from 1,226 in October 2010 to 8,149 a month later, a telltale sign). I suspect - though since you have repeatedly refused to publish the original advice you received from the Library I cannot know for sure - that you would have been warned about this by them at the time. I hope you will now stop using this misleading figure. The actual increase between November 2010 and May 2014 is 38% and much of this is due to fewer people being unemployed and more people in work.
I am copying this to journalists from both our local papers so that if you try to use this figure again they will be aware that you have had the facts pointed out to you.
Sent: 02 September 2014 12:45
To: BARWELL, Gavin
Subject: RE: Library response: Housing Benefit claimants in employment
Dear Mr Barwell
Thanks for your query. As you may have seen in the table I originally sent you in May, I left out the figures for HB claimants in employment in Croydon Borough over the period November 2008 to October 2010, as the data published by the DWP for the borough over this period for this category of claimant appear to be wrong. This apparent error also affects Fareham, Uttlesford and Pendle local authorities over the same period – the numbers in employment appear to have been substantially under-estimated in these four areas. This is presumably due to inaccurate recording of claimants’ employment status by these local authorities during the period up to and including October 2010.
The figures of 1,051 HB claimants in employment in Croydon in May 2010 shown in the table forwarded by Mr Reed is the official figure published by the DWP, but I would suggest that it be treated with caution for the aforementioned reason.
The attached Excel figure updates the table I sent you MayThe attached Excel figure updates the table I sent you May (we now have data for March-May 2014), and highlights the months in which the Croydon borough data shows a discrepancy compared with subsequent months. All of the figures shown are the official data published by the DWP via Stat-xplore.
I hope this helps – do let me know if you need anything further.