Dear Ed

Confirmation of National Statistics for the Living Costs and Food Survey

Thank you for your review of the actions that my team has taken to address the requirements in your Assessment Report number 358: Living Costs and Food (LCF) Survey.

I am very pleased to read that the work we have undertaken to date to improve the quality of the LCF survey data is providing the required evidence to confirm the continued designation of National Statistics for Family Spending in the UK.

The importance and public value of LCF as a source of household finances data cannot be understated and I am grateful that OSR recognises ONS’s full commitment to this data source. While the more immediate and urgent stabilisation work on the LCF systems and data processes is coming to an end, we are committed to continue development of strategical improvements to expenditure data collection as part of the Household Finances Statistics Transformation (HFST) project which is funded until March 2025. I am also conscious that since the pandemic, our survey response rates remain low and I would like to take this opportunity to reassure you that this remains a priority for us to address.

Finally, I want to thank you and your team for the support they have provided to ONS on the LCF assessment throughout this period. My team has valued their collaborative approach and engagement in providing helpful challenges and constructive feedback to achieve the best outcome for the survey.

We will continue to keep our users informed on both the outcome of this review and our longer-term development work as part of HFST.

Yours sincerely

Dr Alex Lambert
Director of Surveys
Office for National Statistics