Taken for a ride by Government’s inflation fix
SIR – Sam Brodbeck (“How the Government’s inflation link makes pensioners, commuters and students poorer”, telegraph.co.uk) is right: different inflation indices are currently being used to, in effect, fleece millions of people.
All too often, increases in incomes are being linked to the Consumer Prices Index (CPI), which is generally lower. Their outgoings, however, are often pegged to the Retail Prices Index (RPI), which is usually higher.
At the Royal Statistical Society, we deplore the long-running misuse of these indices. In our view, RPI’S continued use for price- and taxsetting purposes is particularly unwarrantable, as its technical flaws have been established, accepted and widely known for some time.
Indeed, it is now nearly five years since RPI was stripped of official “national statistic” status. In such circumstances, we believe that its continued use – for setting train fares, for example – is nothing short of scandalous.
RPI should no longer be used for this purpose: people should neither be taken for fools nor taken for a ride in this way. Hetan Shah
Executive Director Royal Statistical Society London EC1