Retail Prices Index (Error)

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 10:48 am on 18th December 1987.

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Photo of Graham Allen Graham Allen , Nottingham North 10:48 am, 18th December 1987

I should like to congratulate the Minister on discovering this error, but I cannot do so because I have pointed this out to Ministers in correspondence on behalf of some of my constituents since I have been elected. I understand that even before that, mistakes in the RPI were being pointed out by civil servant pensioners and that no notice was taken. Is the Minister saying that those who have campaigned for many months, and perhaps years, will receive nothing? Is this not ideally a matter that should be subject to an investigation by the PAC?

Mr. Scott: That is certainly not a question for me to decide. There are two points here. The first is whether the RPI is being calculated accurately. An error has been discovered and, as my right hon. Friend said, the head of the Government's statistical service will review this to seek to ensure that it cannot happen again. I understand that some people complain about the basis of calculating the RPI. That is a second and entirely separate matter from whether the RPI has been calculated accurately at a particular time.