Examination of Witnesses (Questions 160-168)|
WEDNESDAY 30 OCTOBER 2002
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,
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.
(Mr Cook) For those purposes we believe we produce
measures which meet the requirements.
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 suspendedI
have no quarrel with that suspension, it seems to me to be entirely
well foundedyou 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
(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.