§ Mr. Moate
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he has any plans to standardise the method of calculating the retail prices index to conform with other European countries; and if this has been proposed to other member states of the European Economic Community or European Free Trade Association.
§ Mr. Maples
[holding answer 26 October 1990]: My right hon. Friend has no immediate plans to change the method of calculating the retail prices index in the interest of international comparability.
A variety of methods is used by other European countries in constructing their consumer price indices, and although a recent consultant's report has identified possible scope for harmonisation, each country has kept its own index.