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Retail Prices Index

Volume 33: debated on Monday 6 December 1982

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asked the Secretary of State for Employment if he will estimate the numbers of households whose cost of living is accurately recorded by the general index of retail prices.

The retail prices index is a reliable measure of the increase in prices of the goods and services bought by the great majority of households in the United Kingdom. About 17 million or 85 per cent. of all households are covered. Two groups are excluded because their spending patterns differ appreciably from that of households in general: one and two person pensioner households of whose income at least three quarters comes from national retirement and similar pensions; and high income households where the income of the head of household is in the top 3 to 4 per cent. of incomes.