HL Deb 08 May 2003 vol 647 cc149-50WA
Lord Lea of Crondall

asked Her Majesty's Government:

What plans they have for asking the Retail Prices Index Advisory Committee to consider issues of:

  1. (a) regional prices indices; and
  2. (b) alignment with European consumer price index methodology. [HL2567]

Lord McIntosh of Haringey

The Chancellor announced on 27th February that Chris Allsopp will undertake a review of regional information and the statistical framework needed to support the Government's key objective of promoting economic growth in all regions and reducing the persistent gap in growth rates between regions. The review will cover a full range of regional statistics, and price information is clearly an important part of this. Mr Allsopp will produce a first report by the time of this Autumn's Pre-Budget Report.

The Harmonised Index of Consumer Prices (HICP) is produced for all EU countries as a requirement under EU legislation. It is constructed to be internationally comparable, which requires a standardised methodology. Thus the HICP is defined and governed by the European Commission. This means that although it is produced in consultation with statistical agencies from member states, it is outside the direct control of national authorities.