Issue date: 11 December 2012
The Office for National Statistics has today announced the timetable for the decision process on the National Statistician's consultation on options for improving the Retail Prices Index, which closed on 30 November 2012. Over 400 responses were received from a large number of individuals as well as a wide range of organisations, including trade unions, pension groups and private businesses.
On 8 January 2013, the Consumer Prices Advisory Committee (CPAC) will meet to discuss ONS's response to the issues raised in the consultation. CPAC will consider the statistical points raised by respondents and ONS's reply to them and provide advice to the National Statistician.
The National Statistician will announce her recommendation at 07.00 on 10 January 2013. If necessary, the recommendation will be sent to the Bank of England and then the Chancellor of the Exchequer for their consideration.
For a copy of the full National Statistician's consultation on options for improving the RPI document.
Section 21 of the Statistics and Registration Service Act 2007 describes how:
“(2) Before making any change to the coverage or the basic calculation of the Retail Prices Index, the [Statistics] Board must consult the Bank of England as to whether the change constitutes a fundamental change in the index which would be materially detrimental to the interests of the holders of relevant index-linked gilt-edged securities.
(3) If the Bank of England considers that the change constitutes a fundamental change in the index which would be materially detrimental to the interests of the holders of relevant index-linked gilt-edged securities, the Board may not make the change without the consent of the Chancellor of the Exchequer.”
Any Bank of England judgment and, if required, decision by the Chancellor of the Exchequer would both be made in a timely manner, and advance notice would be provided of the time and date of any such announcements.
The Consumer Prices Advisory Committee (CPAC) has three distinct roles:
• to advise the UK Statistics Authority on the implication for the Retail Prices Index ( RPI) of the improvements to this index recommended by the Office for National Statistics (ONS)
• to provide the UK Statistics Authority with advice on RPI methodological issues
• to advise the UK Statistics Authority on improvements to the UK Consumer Prices Index (CPI) recommended by ONS
CPAC meets approximately five times a year. An annual report, summarising the work of the Committee and including any recommendations, is prepared for the UK Statistics Authority. CPAC membership is drawn from the UK Statistics Authority, ONS, the Bank of England, HM Treasury, academia, the media, and consumer organisations.
National Statistics are produced to high professional standards set out in the Code of Practice for Official Statistics. They undergo regular quality assurance reviews to ensure that they meet customer needs. They are produced free from any political interference.
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