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Measurement of inflation: FT Weekend Magazine, 27 June 2009

A reader's letter to an advice column in the FT made an offensive comment about ONS statisticians. Karen Dunnell wrote to protest at the decision to print such language and to defend the way that inflation is measured.



Ralph Corderoy’s letter ("Does inflation reflect the size of Mars Bars?" Weekend Magazine, June 27 2009), and its reference to statisticians as "lying bastards" is deeply offensive, unjustifiable and unnecessary. I was shocked that a publication of your stature allowed such a comment to be published.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) uses a diverse set of indicators to calculate the Consumer Prices Index. The methodology is consistent, open to scrutiny, and consistent with international standards.

Our mission at ONS is to improve understanding of life in the United Kingdom through trusted and independent statistics and analysis: a tough enough job for our hardworking staff.

I expect an unreserved apology for the publication of this remark so that I can reassure my colleagues that this is not a view held by your publication.

Yours faithfully,

Karen Dunnell,

National Statistician,
Office for National Statistics,
Government Buildings,
Cardiff Road,
Newport NP10 8XG

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