LORDS

Call for evidence launched into use of the retail price index

04 July 2018

The House of Lords Economic Affairs Committee, chaired by Lord Forsyth of Drumlean, invites written contributions to its investigation into whether the retail price index (RPI) is an appropriate measure of inflation in the UK, and its use by the Government. The deadline for written submissions is 25 July 2018.

Focus of the inquiry

Following comments to the Committee by the Governor of the Bank of England in January 2018 that it may be time to transition away from using the retail price index (RPI), the Economic Affairs Committee have launched a short investigation into the use of RPI. The Committee will assess the suitability of using RPI, the alternative indices available and the potential implications of altering or abolishing RPI for the people and organisations who use it.

Areas of interest

The Committee is inviting written evidence on any or all of the following issues:

  • The current situation regarding the retail price index is untenable. Do you agree? If so, what would you recommend is done to improve this situation?
  • Should the retail price index be abolished? If so, how should that be achieved?
  • If not, how should the retail price index be changed? If so, how should that be achieved?
  • What would the implications be of changing or abolishing the retail price index?

Lord Forsyth, Chairman of the Committee, comments:

“How, and when, the retail price index is used by the Government and others affects most people. Its use in train fares, student loans and utility bills means that we must all be confident in it as a measure of the increasing cost of living. 
 
“After the Governor of the Bank of England told us that the Government should consider not embedding RPI further into contracts and transition away from RPI-linked gilts, we have launched this inquiry to see what the implications and consequence of such a move might be. 
 
“We encourage, and welcome, submissions of written evidence from anyone who has a view on this issue.”

 Further information

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