UK GDP to include prostitution, drugs, Report
UK GDP to include prostitution, drugs, Report

UK GDP to include prostitution, drugs, Report

Prostitution and the import, manufacture and consumption of illegal drugs like crack cocaine and heroin will be included in the official estimates of the country’s economy, the national statistics agency said Friday.

Until recently the CSO has steered clear of measuring the seediest of illegal activities, only making estimates for things like fuel smuggling and drug importing.

But it has now set up a dedicated team to measure the total value of the underbelly of society, CSO statistician Andrew McManus told the Sunday Independent.

The addition of these activities to GDP could prove helpful to the meeting of EU fiscal targets. Governments of European Union members are not supposed to let their annual deficits exceed three per cent of GDP, or accumulated debt exceed 60 per cent of GDP; thus anything that bumps up our GDP figure gives more room to spend without exceeding these parameters

A similar move by the UK statistics office culminated this week in the revelation that illegal drugs and prostitution provide a £10bn boost to the UK economy in 2009 – 0.7 per cent of Britain’s GDP. A breakdown of the data shows sex workers generated £5.3bn, with another £4.4bn from drugs. Estonia, Austria, Slovenia, Finland, Sweden and Norway have also followed suit.


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