The RSS welcomes a decision by the UK Statistics Authority (UKSA) to extend its consultation on the future of the Retail Prices Index (RPI), in view of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.
The closing date for responses has now been moved back by four months, to 21 August 2020, as confirmed in an exchange of letters between UKSA chair Sir David Norgrove and Chancellor Rishi Sunak.
The decision follows calls from groups, including the Society, to delay the consultation. Last month, RSS President Deborah Ashby wrote to the UKSA chair following discussions in the RSS National Statistics Advisory Group, arguing that a lack of public consultative meetings on the issue - due to current social restrictions - would ‘produce a less than satisfactory result’.
‘We are pleased that the UK Statistics Authority and the Treasury have made the right decision and decided to put back the RPI consultation, as we urged them to do,’ said Professor Ashby. ‘The RPI is a difficult issue and one that divides many; any consultation on it should not rely on written submissions alone but involve real public debate. Given this consultation is not especially urgent, it is right to extend it until public meetings can - all being well - resume.
‘I would like to thank Sir David Norgrove for listening and responding so positively to the RSS's deep-seated concerns.’
The decision was also welcomed by Tony Cox, who chairs the RPI/CPI User Group.