The Retail Prices Index (RPI) is one of the principal measures used to calculate any annual increase in the Basic State Pittance (BSP).
In theory, the RPI covers a representative sample of products and services relevant to the typical UK pensioner, but in practice, more than 80% of the items are rarely, if ever, used by the over-65s. As a result, realistic increases in the BSP are never actually achieved.
However, according to senior economists at the Treasury (none of whom is a pensioner) you can maximise any marginal increment by aligning your expenditure much more closely to the items currently included in the RPI basket.
In essence, this means your optimum weekly shopping list should consist of seven spelt loaves, a large bottle of flavoured water, a cycle helmet, a box of edible candles, a pair of ethically knitted mittens, activewear leggings, four packets of quinoa seeds, a box of biodegradable paper straws, a shower head, two cuttle fish and 60 litres of mushroom compost (or muesli as it’s more commonly known).
RPI also stands for Rocket Propelled Incendiary, but in 2007, this was replaced in the RPI basket by quiche.