To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what use his Department has made of the National Wellbeing Index introduced by the Office for National Statistics in formulating policy since the introduction of that index in 2011; and what policies his Department has introduced to improve national wellbeing as defined in that index since 2010.
The Office for National Statistics (ONS) is measuring National Wellbeing, not as an index but through a framework of 41 indicators which capture social progress around important aspects of life for individuals, communities and the nation. The statistics are experimental and as such we should not expect to have examples of major policies that have been heavily influenced by the well-being data at this stage.
Evidence provided to the Environmental Audit Committee for its Inquiry into Wellbeing can be found at:
Most of our policies are targeted at specific groups in society—users of the justice system—so national measures are not necessarily useful indicators. Nonetheless public interest is at the forefront of all our policy development, and therefore is often designed to improve aspects of well-being. For example, we have a major programme of reform that we are implementing to transform the way we rehabilitate offenders. These important reforms mean that we are turning around the lives of offenders, delivering value for the taxpayer while protecting victims and making our communities safer.
We have also made reforms to the family justice system focusing primarily on promoting the well-being of children and supporting separating parents. Many of these reforms were enshrined in the Children and Families Act 2014.
Finally, the Mental Capacity Act 2005, for which the Ministry of Justice has responsibility, feeds into the well-being recommendations relating to mental health, treating citizens with respect and enabling greater empowerment.