ONS to revise inflation calculations after Jack Monroe pressure


Food writer and poverty campaigner Jack Monroe has celebrated after the Office of National Statistics (ONS) has pledged to revise the way they calculate inflation.

The news comes following a series of tweets posted by Monroe last week, detailing how poor availability of value lines of some supermarket products had resulted in customers being forced to purchase items up to triple the price.

The food poverty campaigner was widely critical of the way that official inflation data is gathered, claiming that poorer people were seeing a far higher rise in the cost of living than was reported.

However, yesterday Monroe tweeted: “Delighted to be able to tell you that the ONS have just announced that they are going to be changing the way they collect and report on the cost of food prices and inflation to take into consideration a wider range of income levels and household circumstances.”

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The campaigner had previously pointed out there was far greater inflationary pressure on poor families than had been shown by the 5.4% index reading.

“It infuriates me the index that they use for this calculation, which grossly underestimates the real cost of inflation as it happens to people with the least,” Monroe tweeted last week.

ONS head of prices Mike Hardie, said in a blog post: “We are currently developing radical new plans to increase the number of price points dramatically each month from 180,000 to hundreds of millions, using prices sent to us directly from supermarket checkouts.

“This will mean we won’t just include one apple in a shop – picked to be representative based on shelf space and market intelligence – but how much every apple costs, and how many of each type were purchased, in many more shops in every area of the country.

“While it will not show us what each consumer has bought, protecting their privacy, it will show exactly what has been sold and for how much, giving us even more detail on how inflation is affecting UK households.”

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