As you are aware, at the Budget the government and UK Statistics Authority (UKSA) launched a joint consultation seeking views on whether UKSA’s proposal to address the shortcomings of the Retail Prices Index should be implemented at a date other than 2030, and, if so, when between 2025 and 2030.
However, since the consultation was launched the situation with the coronavirus pandemic has evolved. Businesses and individuals are now focused on mitigating the challenges that this public health and economic emergency has created. The consultation is scheduled to close for responses on 22 April, with a response due by the summer Parliamentary recess. Our officials have been discussing the feasibility of the consultation in the current circumstances under the existing timetable. In light of the evolving situation, in order to hold a meaningful consultation we agree that we should extend the consultation period.
As such, we have agreed to extend the consultation period beyond 22 April. The consultation will now close for responses on 21 August (subject to coronavirus-related developments). We have agreed that the government and UKSA will respond to the consultation in the autumn.
I will be publishing this letter on the Treasury website.
Sir David Norgrove to Chancellor of the Exchequer (April 2020)