There’s a handy little graphic floating around social media at the moment, pushed out by the Conservatives as part of their traditional claim of ownership of economic acumen as compared to Labour’s record.
As usual with these sorts of infographics, the figures themselves can’t be taken on face value.
The column headings for example give just two years being compared: 2010 and 2017. With no specific dates it’s hard to confirm the veracity.
These dates are significant, not just because 2010 was the last time that Labour was in power, but also because of its proximity to one of the most seismic economic disasters in modern history.
But let’s not allow pertinent details to get in the way of making a cheap point.
The graphic completely ignores inflation
Given the 7 year span these figures cover, the creator of the graphic has decided to conveniently forget to adjust for inflation, as well as also ignoring other crucial factors such as a rising population.
Adjusting for inflation is also know as a ‘real terms’ comparison, and is the only way of accurately comparing financial figures over any span of time.