In a blatant day of pro-Labour political spin the BBC have been giving massive publicity to a report by what is almost, in essence, a Labour Party front organisation, The Resolution Foundation, which claims millions of the poorest will have whatever is left of their meagre income further shrunken by councils ‘forced’ to make cuts in council tax benefits to the poorest because of heartless Government cuts….
or as the Resolution Foundation puts it:
‘Low-income families will see their council tax bills rise by up to £600 a year from April.
As a result of council tax benefit reform, No Clear Benefit shows that three-quarters of local authorities are set to demand increased payments from the 3.2 million poorest working-age households who currently pay either no council tax or a reduced charge. Families are facing a hike of more than 330 per cent in the most severe cases.’
The Resolution Foundation are happy to join up with the IPPR ‘think tank’….Labour’s own propaganda unit….Beyond the Bottom Line, a joint report from the Resolution Foundation and IPPR.
Richard D in the comments draws this to our attention….a letter from the Tory Party condemning the BBC’s coverage of an issue to which even the BBC admits has a “highly charged, political context”.
The letter from Grant Shapp’s aide Jack Berry states:
‘This morning BBC news outlets gave heavy prominence to a report on council tax benefit from the Resolution Foundation.
The report was highly critical of Government policy concerning changes to council tax benefit. In turn, it provided an easy hook for the Labour Party to voice its opposition. I am writing to register concerns about the corporation’s editorial integrity over this story.
Viewers, listeners and readers might therefore expect that the report was wholly independent of party political interests. However, this is clearly not the case.’
He’s not wrong.
If you had been listening to the BBC today you might have come away with the idea that £600 was the default figure to be imposed.
Millions of the poorest households face council tax rises because most councils in England will pass on a 10% benefit funding cut, research suggests.
A typical bill will rise from April by between £100 and £250 a year, but some could rise as much as £600, the Resolution Foundation think tank says.
But who are the Resolution Foundation?
The BBC says: ‘The Resolution Foundation, is a not-for-profit research and policy organisation which says its goal is to improve outcomes for people on low and modest incomes.’
Listening on the radio I heard them described by the BBC as ‘an independent think tank’ and as ‘an independent research group’.
Which of course immediately caught my interest….
Guido beat me to the punch in revealing that the BBC has blatantly lied about the Resolution Foundation.
The report’s author was one Matthew Pennycook….a Labour Councillor for Greenwich West and an ex advisor to a Labour MP, Karen Buck.
He is also, surprise, surprise, a Guardian columnist…here is a taste of his obviously pro-Labour thought.
He also served time with the ‘Fair Pay Network’…of which Labour’s Peter Kenyon enthused about:
‘We agreed that as the Labour Party we need to be pushing this as a campaigning issue of direct relevance to the majority of people we seek to represent. A twin-track campaign with the Fair Pay Network highlighting greed and inequality would do wonders for Labour Party morale. It might even improve Labour’s electoral standing.’
The BBC seems to have a similar idea launching its own ‘twin track campaign’ against ‘The Cuts’ with Labour…..it might even improve Labour’s electoral chances!
The Fair Pay Network…chaired by Karen Buck…Pennycook’s old boss…oh and look John Cruddas, and Polly Toynbee, Baronness Kennedy…and Guy Stallard – Director – KPMG Europe….just of interest because of course KPMG seem involved in a lot of these initiatives and were used by the BBC as an example of a company endorsing a ‘living wage’ when Miliband was trumpeting his latest brainwave…and are the BBC’s own accountants.
Not sure what the BBC’s idea of ‘independent’ is but here’s some help for them:
[in-di-pen-duhnt] Show IPA