Public service improvement made easy

October 15, 2008 4:58 PM

The Telegraph's headline says it all: "Government cuts train overcrowding with new definition".


Basically, the Government have trebled the number of people standing, per sitting passenger, that it takes for a train to be defined as 'overcrowded'.  That way they can cut 'overcrowding' without any actual increase in capacity.  Genius!


This isn't the first time politicians have changed the measurement, and claimed an improvement in performance because the new measurement produces more favourable figures.  Fraser Nelson, on the Spectator CoffeeHouse blog, notes that much of the Government's trumpeted success in bringing down inflation, before the current crisis, came from shifting from the RPI to CPI measure.  And politicians wonder why people don't trust them?

The Telegraph's headline says it all: "Government cuts train overcrowding with new definition".


Basically, the Government have trebled the number of people standing, per sitting passenger, that it takes for a train to be defined as 'overcrowded'.  That way they can cut 'overcrowding' without any actual increase in capacity.  Genius!


This isn't the first time politicians have changed the measurement, and claimed an improvement in performance because the new measurement produces more favourable figures.  Fraser Nelson, on the Spectator CoffeeHouse blog, notes that much of the Government's trumpeted success in bringing down inflation, before the current crisis, came from shifting from the RPI to CPI measure.  And politicians wonder why people don't trust them?

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