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UK's national statistician to face Lords Economics Committee questions on the retail price index


On Tuesday 17 July 2018 John Pullinger CB, the UK National Statistician, will give evidence to the House of Lords Economic Affairs Committee

Mr Pullinger, who is also Head of the Government Statistical Service and Chief Executive of the UK Statistics Authority, will be contributing to the Committee's inquiry into the use of the retail price index (RPI) as a measure of inflation.

Questions the Committee is likely to cover in this session at 4.30pm include:

  • The Rt Hon Elizabeth Truss MP, Chief Secretary to the Treasury, told the Committee that there were “fundamental statistical issues” with RPI. Will the UK Statistics Authority make changes to RPI?
  • Dr Geoff Tily from the TUC told the Committee that “the intellectual case against the RPI is not strong”. Does he have a point?
  • Is there a case for a full review of the collection of prices and the formulas used in the consumer price index (CPI) and RPI?
  • If the UK decided to use one measure of inflation, how long should the transition period be?
  • What work is ONS doing on the treatment of student loans in the national accounts?
  • Is the Office for Budget Responsibility right to say that since much of the accrued interest on student loans will be written off rather than repaid, the national accounts methodology does not reflect fiscal reality?

The Committee recently published a call for evidence to this inquiry. Click here to find out more.

This evidence session, which is open to the public, will start at 4.30pm on Tuesday 17 July in Committee Room 1 of the House of Lords.

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