Richard Littlejohn bases his main drivel today on the Daily Mail article that claimed 3,200 parents of ADHD children are receiving taxpayer-funded cars via the Motability scheme. Littlejohn adds in his own embellishment – he claims to have had a conversation with a local BMW dealer who claimed that they would be out of business without it and that most of the BMW 1 Series they sold went to Motability customers. Hmm… nothing like the age-old technique of relying on a conversation that you may or may not have had to form the thrust of your argument, is there?
Anyway, Full Fact had already taken issue with the original Mail article and concluded:
The Daily Mail’s claim that 3,200 people with ADHD have used the Motability Car Scheme is inaccurate.
The number eligible for higher rate DLA – and therefore Motability vehicles – is recoded as 100 by the DWP, some way short of the figure given by the Mail.
However even if we conflate behavioural disorders with ADHD, as the Mail appears to have done, it is likely that the number using the scheme would fail to top the 3,200 claimed, as only 30 per cent of those eligible end up using the scheme.
To cap it all off, the article also downplays the severity of the disability that is needed to qualify for the Motability Scheme.
Richard Littlejohn, for his part, also downplays this aspect by claiming that:
Even naughty schoolboys diagnosed with the make-believe disease ‘Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder’ (ADHD) are classified as disabled.
And, as for Littlejohn’s claim that:
The Motability scheme started with the best of intentions…
But Motability was never designed to supply free BMWs to the perfectly-fit families of little boys who can’t sit still in class.
Which seems to contradict his earlier claim that such a car could only be leased with a ‘modest top-up payment’ – which means: ‘not free’. As for the ‘modest top-up payment’ and ‘free BMWs’ claims made by Littlejohn, Full Fact dealt with this rubbish back in June when the ‘free BMWs to Motability users!’ stories first started doing the rounds:
The use of a BMW as an example of a ‘free’ car is particularly misleading, as DLA claimants wishing to have use of one through the scheme must actually put forward several thousands of pounds of their own money to qualify.
Just another wonderful day of fact-free journalism.