UK statisticians should seek government permission to change RPI inflation: lawmakers By Reuters

UK statisticians should seek government permission to change RPI inflation: lawmakers

LONDON (Reuters) – Britain’s official statisticians should formally ask for government permission to change how the Retail Prices Index (RPI) measure of inflation is calculated, two parliament committees said on Tuesday.

The committees have argued that an error in the formula for RPI leads it to overstate annual inflation by 0.3 percentage points, giving a 1 billion pound ($1.28 billion) a year windfall for holders of inflation-linked bonds and while raising RPI-linked rail fares and student loan repayments.

“The Committee has previously urged the Government to abandon the use of RPI, which has been de-designated as a national statistic. Failing this, the Chancellor should at least consent to UKSA (UK Statistics Authority) correcting the known errors in the RPI formula,” Nicky Morgan, chair of the House of Commons’ Treasury Committee, said.

The House of Lords’ Economic Affairs Committee also signed the letter.

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