Figures flawed

In October 2007 the Office for National Statistics published figures on the "big" picture of unemployment (your report, 21 January). .

They showed that the number of people classified as "economically inactive" in the UK was 7.97 million. Since 2007, unemployment has increased by 1.5 million. Therefore, around 9.5 million people are being supported by benefit. But added to this should be the 6.6 million people who work part-time. These jobs are not included in the official unemployment figures, although they are basically half-employment.

So the true number of people claiming benefits and economically inactive in the UK exceeds 10 million. All have to be supported by taxation, accounting for nearly 170 billion a year. The official figure of 2.5 million unemployed is a mirage, and a drop of 7,000 in the latest massaged government figures is a disgrace. The big question is why the government can't for once tell the truth about unemployment in Britain.


World Innovation Foundation


Bern, Switzerland