Treasury written question – answered on 12th June 2014.

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Photo of Chris Ruane Chris Ruane Labour, Vale of Clwyd

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer 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.

Photo of Nicky Morgan Nicky Morgan Minister for Women, The Financial Secretary to the Treasury

As the Prime Minister has said:

“we'll start measuring our progress as a country not just by how our economy is growing, but by our quality of life.”

The National Wellbeing Index and Measures of Wellbeing provides a rich contribution to the debate about the health and happiness of the people of the United Kingdom.

These are relatively new statistical series, meaning that the evidence base on wellbeing, and the implications for policy making, are still being developed. The ONS Wellbeing statistics released on the 4 June made a helpful contribution to this debate. They revealed, for example, that those households that receive more of their income from benefits are more likely to have lower life satisfaction. This Government has overseen record employment levels and is reforming the benefit system so that it always pays to work and people are not trapped in a life on benefits.

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