Richard Littlejohn repeats lies about Motability scheme

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.

9 thoughts on “Richard Littlejohn repeats lies about Motability scheme

  1. The original Mail article formed the basis of a phone-in ‘debate’ on Sunday night on TalkSport. The presenter – Steve Berry – was literally just reading aloud passages from the article and inviting callers to ring in and comment on it. Berry freely admitted he had no other information apart from the one Mail article (using a variety of sources, doing research before you go on air? Clearly not something that interests Berry).
    The phone-in inevitably descended into people ringing in with the usual “all you have to do to get showered with benefits is tell the Job Centre you’ve got a limp”-type comments, without being challenged by the presenter.
    I can’t believe no one was invited on to give a counter argument or explain, as yourself and Full Fact have, how the numbers and ‘facts’ begin to disintegrate when scrutinised. It’s drives me barmy how these myths and half-truths are passed around by nonsense-mongers like Littlejohn and go unchallenged by the rest of the media.

  2. ADHD a “made-up disease”? I don’t know the full aspects of ADHD, but as someone with a learning disorder it annoys me a great deal when ignorant pigs like Little-cock-john dismiss such disorders (which affects sufferers a great deal) as merely some sort of excuse for ‘bad behaviour’ or ‘being unintelligent’.

  3. The Daily Mail’s obsession with picking on disability is perverse and hypocritical considering the same paper led a month long campaign against Frankie Boyle for making jokes about the subject.
    From what I’ve gleaned they believe it’s OK to resent the disabled and claim they are all just faking their conditions (especially if they also receive incapacity benefit) but making jokes about disability is crossing the line.

  4. I just don’t understand what Littleknob gets out of propagating these lies about Motability, the Disability Living Allowance, etc. Does he have shares in private healthcare companies (in which case the reader should probably be told), or is he just evil?

    (Come to think of it, does he also own shares in a company that makes dustbins that don’t have wheels and need to be emptied weekly?)

  5. @Smogo

    What he gets out of it? About 700 grand a year, apparently, and carte blanche to say what he likes untroubled by fact, scruple or a regulatory body.

  6. Hannibal – the disabled are OK as long as they’re rich and don’t have to claim any sort of benefit. Helps if they’re young and pretty too, no doubt. Or an old soldier of course.

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