The RSS has submitted evidence to a Commons Treasury inquiry, 'An Equal Recovery', which is examining the different forms of inequality that have emerged over the pandemic and what the Treasury should do to tackle them.
As an organisation whose mission is to promote the role of data in decision-making, we see a vital role for data and evidence in ensuring a more equal recovery. It can give us a timely assessment of the impact of post-pandemic policy on incomes, education and skills and wellbeing.
However, we are concerned that the current data is not up to the job. Post-pandemic inequality cannot be adequately understood solely using pre-pandemic data. We must urgently rethink what data the government is collecting and how it is used.
Our submission make the the following recommendations:
Read our submission in full
- Introduce legislation to ensure that research access to deidentified unit record, survey and administrative data on health and all other data are governed by a single set of rules and standards.
- Encourage further data sharing between central government and regional and local authorities, particularly where controlled access is required, so that problems can be proactively identified and tackled at a local level.
- The UK Statistics Authority, working with the Treasury, should conduct a rapid review of the data that is needed to assess how equal the recovery from the pandemic is - and the Treasury should invest in the new data sources required. This should be part of a comprehensive data gaps exercise, which also considers a review of classifications.
- Invest in new longitudinal studies of the young people who have been affected most by the pandemic, to assess how their education and transition to work has been impacted.
- In assessing the equality of the recovery, identify measures to consider that go beyond purely economic measures such as GDP and incorporate wider measures of wellbeing.