LETTER: Data is highly selective

In reply to the letter “What benefits for our country?” (February 6) I feel that the data being used to support this claim is highly selective.

The data used is from a poster produced by the Inequality Briefing website in 2014. This website used EU data on GDP per person and adjusted that for the price differences between countries. GDP measures the size of regional economies when producing the GDP figures regardless of their price differences. So some regions with price levels lower than the national average may appear poorer than they actually are and vice versa. For example London is a much more expensive place to live than the rest of the UK.

Mr Meekings cites ‘Northern Europe’ but what you include in ‘Northern Europe’ is subjective. The UN for instance includes the Baltic nations of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania and all these countries would dominate the bottom ten regions of GDP if included. Germany and France however should be excluded from the data used by Mr Meekings as they are in western Europe.

So I think it’s fair to say that the way the data is collated can easily produce the results you want (My source is fullfact.org).

A point to ponder on is that if Lincolnshire is in such a bad position as is claimed in Mr Meekings’ letter it reached this low point whilst a member of the EU. So perhaps the EU was holding Lincolnshire back?

I also think that it is being forgotten by some people that the reason there was ten years of austerity was that the Labour Party under Mr Blair and Mr Brown practically bankrupted this country. It has taken ten years of sacrifice by the people of this country to get back from the position the Labour Party left us in. I expect we all remember the ‘no money left’ note left by Labour.

I think after the result of the recent General Election that it is time for the division over Brexit to end. We are a pragmatic country and we should now come together and make a solid go of making our exit from the EU work for all and I am sure that our lovely Lincolnshire will benefit in many ways.

Alan Hammersley

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