Select Committee on Treasury Minutes of Evidence

Examination of Witnesses (Questions 160-168)



  160. The Statistics Commission, as Mr Mudie said, do not believe that is an adequate way of doing it.
  (Mr Cook) In both Northern Ireland and Scotland and also in Wales, and I have no doubt in the regions that are proposed in the UK, there will be an expectation I am sure that we can produced a balanced set of national accounts as opposed to one side. The impact of that will mean that we will have to do a lot more work to produce production based output statistics for those countries at as comparable a level of accuracy as we do for the UK in total. That will require more action in our survey taking to achieve that. There are more steps than simply price deflators in achieving what is required.

  161. Can we rely on the estimates of regional productivity as you produce them now?
  (Mr Cook) For the purposes for which they are used, yes.

  162. That is a cop out, what does that mean? We are talking about productivity meaning a reflection of the improved economic efficiency of the region.
  (Mr Cook) The key measure at the moment, am I not correct, is measures of GDP per capita in terms of looking at the relative economic well-being of regions.

  163. Yes.
  (Mr Cook) For those purposes we believe we produce measures which meet the requirements.

Mr Cousins

  164. You referred to this issue in the course of our discussions earlier but just to be clear about it, the vacancy statistics which as you rightly say you have suspended—I have no quarrel with that suspension, it seems to me to be entirely well founded—you have promised the new vacancy statistics will be published in this year.
  (Mr Cook) Yes.

  165. On a quarterly basis?
  (Mr Cook) Yes, and I can confirm the date of publication. It is imminent. The progress of those statistics for our establishment based survey of vacancies has proceeded as expected. I cannot tell you the date off the top of my head but I can give you a note with when precisely they will come out.

  166. An undertaking has been given that it will begin later this year?
  (Mr Cook) Yes.

  167. Which for the purposes of the record is 2002.
  (Mr Cook) Yes, and there is no intention to change what this year means.

  168. I am very relieved to hear it. You have a new career, I think, in Have I Got News For You.
  (Mr Cook) I would like to think I will keep my current one for a while.

  Chairman: Right. We will leave it there. Thank you very much indeed.

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