asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer what are the fiscal implications of the existing make-up of the retail price index.
The retail price index measures the rate of change of the prices of the goods and services that households buy; this necessarily includes price changes which are due to changes in indirect taxation.
The retail price index is sometimes referred to as the cost-of-living index. Does it make sense that drink and cigarettes, which some people claim contribute to dying rather than living, should be included in the cost-of-living index?
The composition of the retail price index is not directly under Government control, but the point is made.