I have found myself getting confused over the Government’s statistics for child poverty.  Is it going up, down, or is it static?

It seems there are two lots of statistics you have to know about.  They are “Relative Poverty” and “Absolute Poverty”.  Usually these two figures move in the same direction because measures to alleviate poverty make people better of both relatively and absolutely.

I hope you are with me so far, because this is where it gets complicated.

During the recession, or whatever it was we are supposed to be coming out of, most people were worse off.  Unemployment, low wages, all that sort of thing.  Therefore poor people were not as relatively poor as they were previously, although they had not got any better off.

Now we are all a bit better off, the poor are relatively poorer. So ppor families ought to have been glad of the recession as it improved their relative position!

This is another example of how we can all be easily misled by statistics.  I know it has taken me some time and effort to understand this.  Perhaps I should write a sequel to my book, “How to Avoid Being Misled by Statistics”  Go to:  https://www.createspace.com/4767398

Or http://www.amazon.com/How-Avoid-Being-Misled-Statistics/dp/1499190484/ 

In fact the gap between rich and poor is wider than it was before the recession, but it depends how you choose your statistics.  None of this is any help to anyone living in poverty, especially if they have children.

Who said we are all in this together?