MPs urge government to keep census amid concerns over data

 
Kate McCann
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A COMMITTEE of MPs are calling on the government not to scrap the national census, amid concerns that Whitehall is not making the most of the data it already collects.

Bernard Jenkin MP, chair of the public accounts committee, said: “The government has previously indicated that the ten-yearly census should be axed, but we believe that it is too soon to decide whether or not to scrap the census.

“We urge the government to address public concerns about data sharing and to learn the lessons from the flawed rollout of the “care.data” programme, so that the best use can be made of the information already collected and held.”

The plea from MPs comes after Jil Matheson, the national statistician, last month called for the census to appear online in 2021 and for the government to link it up to existing databases it holds.