Commentary on the Act
18.The Act consists of two short sections.
19.Subsection (1) adds ‘Religion’ to those topics that are specified in the Schedule to the Census Act as being matters in respect of which particulars may be required to be given in the Census.
20.Subsection (2), which inserts a new subsection (1A) into section 8 of the Census Act, provides that no person shall be liable to a penalty under subsection (1) of section 8 for refusing or neglecting to state any particulars in respect of religion – effectively making the question on religion a voluntary question.
21.This section extends the amendment to the Census Act to England and Wales only. The position with respect to the Census in Scotland and Northern Ireland is described in paragraph 10 above.