Former Marks & Spencer chairman Sir Stuart Rose and Waitrose managing director Mark Price have both been named members of the advisory panel set up to measure happiness.

The project is being run by the Office for National Statistics and was the idea of Prime Minister David Cameron.

The two retailers are part of a 44-member group which also includes TV child behaviour specialist Tanya Byron, economist Lord Stern and Harvard professor Amartya Sen.

The panel will discuss the themes that emerge from the ongoing debate about happiness and wellbeing and then “provide advice on how to deliver credible measures of subjective wellbeing, and of wider national wellbeing, to meet policy and public needs”.

The ONS will ask people to rate their wellbeing from this April and the first index will appear next year.