THE Scottish Conservatives have today written to the SNP Government to demand that misleading statistics on youth unemployment are
withdrawn and corrected.
The UK Statistics Authority last week rebuked SNP Ministers after they used “unreliable statistics” to claim that jobless rate for 16-24 year olds was falling.
Yet the tweet which set out the figures is still on the Scottish Government’s feed, and neither Ministers nor senior civil servants have accepted the need for a correction.
Scottish Conservative MSP for Highlands and Islands Donald Cameron has today written to Permanent Secretary Leslie Evans insisting that she rectify the situation immediately.
In his letter, he states: “It is extremely important, particularly during a general election, that the Scottish Government and its civil servants remain impartial and publish information that is accurate and well-founded.”
“Therefore I urge you to ensure the tweet is deleted, a correction is published, and a full explanation is issued to explain how unreliable statistics came to be used in this manner.”
Mr Cameron added:
“It is entirely typical of this SNP Government first that misleading figures should be used and second that they refuse to apologise or rectify the situation. Nicola Sturgeon’s Ministers have been found out by the UK Statistics Authority. The Permanent Secretary needs to act to stop the SNP using its position in government to mislead the public.”
The row centres on a claim by Finance Secretary Derek Mackay’s officials of a 0.3 per cent drop in the 16-24 jobless rate. The figure was pulled from uncertified data which carried a warning for it not be used, as it came from a small sample.
The UK Statistics Authority rebuked Ministers afterwards declaring that “Data from the LFS (Labour Force Survey) at this level of detail are not classed as reliable, and are not classed as national statistics.”