Cuts Watch #124: The Census
The government is looking into ways of reducing the cost of the 2011 census, which will be the last in its current form. Speaking to the Daily Telegraph, Cabinet Office Minister Francis Maude said that the Census is crude and inaccurate and the government is instead looking at “different and cheaper” ways of counting the population, using existing databases like credit rating agencies.
Academics and policy analysts are likely to be alarmed at this news, as it is the only 100 per cent sample survey of the UK. Future generations of genealogists and family historians will also find their task much harder. Too much has already been spent on next year’s exercise to stop the final census from being carried out but the Telegraph reports that Mr Maude is “looking at ways of reducing the £482million cost.”