The example shown here is probably the most blatantly awful such graphic I've ever seen. So much so that I wondered if it was from a comedy news site like the Daily Mash, but as far as I can tell it isn't - and it is certainly being shared as if it were serious.
I probably can't list everything wrong with this data set, but problems include:
- It mixes salaries and pensions - not a meaningful comparison
- Even if you look at salaries, the numbers for politicians are totally fictional - the PM for instance has a salary of £142,500 and an MP of £67,000
- According to this report in the Guardian (hardly a government lackey paper) the average pensioner income in 2011 was over £20,000 not £6578 (of course many get less, but this was the average). The trouble is, these figures compare the state pension with an occupational pension
- Whether or not soldiers are paid enough is a totally separate issue, though personally I'd rather nurses, teachers, policemen etc earned more than soldiers and I would like the people who run the country paid significantly more still
- The wording is a little odd. 'House Speaker' is a US term; I wonder if this is US data with the labels changed
Whenever you see numbers like check the source and do a little research before passing them on. All in all, if you use garbage numbers to support your case all you do is damage that case.