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Pre-release Access to Economic Statistics (Committee Bill Proposal)

Part of the debate – in the Scottish Parliament on 19th September 2019.

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Photo of Alex Rowley Alex Rowley Labour

Disraeli is quoted as saying:

“There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies and statistics.”

When statistics are spun and when politicians throw them back and forward at each other, we see why Disraeli’s comment could seem pertinent and why we have to ensure that that is not the case.

As Rhoda Grant said, in setting out Labour’s support for the motion, the Government is accused of having an advantage that allows it to spin the statistics to suit its specific political narrative. A number of members have raised that concern today. I think that people will be a bit baffled as to why we are here, because it would have been best to try to resolve the issue if that was at all possible.