NEWS23 February 2011

ONS consults on plan to scrap household survey

Government News UK

UK— The Office for National Statistics has launched a consultation on proposals to scrap the General Lifestyle Survey after this year.

The ONS proposes that the annual survey of 13,000 British households, which covers topics such as health, employment and poverty, will not continue aftter 2011 “in the absence of any feedback from users indicating an overriding need for [it] to continue”.

All surveys are being “closely scrutinised”, the ONS said, to see where savings can be made. There is an overriding need, it said, “to improve the efficiency of data collection by improving harmonisation between similar poverty indicators used by the UK and EU currently collected on separate surveys, and deliver cost savings.”

Statistics on income and living conditions, which are required to be collected by European law, could be provided through other surveys or thorugh a new standalone telephone survey, the ONS suggests.

The ONS is seeking users’ views on how they use the survey, what the implications are of stopping it, and what alternatives there are.

The consultation is open until 6 May and can be found online here.