Idiot's guide to percentages
OK, even good mathematicians can occasionally make an embarrassing mistake with numbers, but to make the sort of basic mistake for which a ten-year-old child would be told off while accusing your opponent of not being good at maths is incompetence of a high order !
Labour shadow minister Kevin Brennan was speaking in Parliament during a debate on education and claimed that Labour had improved standards of numeracy, adding
''Only three in 10 pupils, that's 60 per cent because I know the Secretary of State is not very good at maths, only three in 10 pupils got a good GCSE in 1997.''
Clearly Mr Brennan is in no position to accuse anyone else of not being good at maths. So to help him, here is ...
A GUIDE TO PERCENTAGES FOR IDIOTS AND LABOUR POLITICIANS
Labour doubled the national debt to 1.2 trillion pounds
Labour scrapped the 10p tax band, and so doubled the marginal tax rate paid by the poorest taxpayers
* If you double something you increase it by 100%
When Labour left office the government was spending four pounds for every three pounds of tax revenue.
* So the share of the Labour government's spending covered by their income was 75%
Labour's outgoing treasury spokesman left a note for incoming coalition ministers saying that "there is no money left."
* If you have spent all the money, the percentage left is 0%.
Since taking office the coalition government have reduced the spending deficit inherited from Labour by a quarter.
* If you reduce something by a quarter, you cut it by 25%
And finally, example 5)
* Three out of ten is 30%.