Fluffing the economy?

Many of our readers may have noticed a slightly European theme to Alpha Bites in recent weeks with Eurovision, euro elections and European contestants in BGT. We were therefore amused to see last week that the UK is to join a number of European countries including Austria, Estonia, Finland, Norway, Slovenia and Sweden by adding prostitution and drug dealing in the measurement of GDP. The Office for National Statistics (ONS) has estimated that prostitution and illegal drugs could add as much as £9.7bn to UK GDP. The ONS has calculated that each of the UK’s 60,879 prostitutes took about 25 clients a week in 2009 at an average price of £67.16. I wonder who worked this one out at the ONS…. busy day at the office darling? Apparently, on further investigation this is an ONS estimate based on research undertaken in the Netherlands which brings a whole new meaning to the phrase ‘going Dutch’.

[Read more]

Full version