02 December 2011

Inconvenient targets

What does the Cameron administration do when it fails to meet targets?  Does it try harder in an effort to succeed?  No, it changes the targets.  Two examples in this morning's Guardian; here and here:

The government is planning to review official targets for reducing poverty, arguing that simply comparing relative incomes leads to perverse incentives and does little to promote better life chances.
The move was signalled by the work and pensions secretary, Iain Duncan Smith, and David Cameron in the week that the government was forced to admit that its autumn statement will mean another 100,000 children brought into child poverty under the measure enshrined in law by the Labour government.

The Department of Energy and Climate Change commissioned an independent review of fuel poverty after last autumn's comprehensive spending review. Its interim findings, published earlier this month, proposed changing the definition of fuel poverty. If adopted, the proposals would halve the numbers of households defined as being in fuel poverty.
Coming soon: a review of the definition of unemployment (as far too many people are classified as unemployed) and a review of the definition of literacy (as far too many kids are unable to write when they leave school).  As for measuring inflation, they've been messing about with the basket of commodities for years ...

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