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TREASURY SIGNALS SOME CENSUS CHANGES

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The government is considering delivering census forms by post after the problems identified by a number of councils...
The government is considering delivering census forms by post after the problems identified by a number of councils after the 2001 census.

The Office of National Statistics has been criticised over variable response rates, some of which were below 80%, leading some councils to question the results because of the effect on grants.

In its response to a critical Commons public accounts committee report, the Treasury confirmed it was looking at whether distributing the census forms by post would be more efficient.

The MPs urged the ONS to consider whether extra resources in the hard-to-count areas would have helped improve the overall response rate.

The Treasury said: 'If additional resources were available, there may

be better ways in which these could be used to improve the coverage of the census.'

In its search for ways of improving the accuracy of the census, the Treasury is also looking at using government administrative data, such as pension, benefit, tax and driving licence records.

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