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Prostitution and drugs in timely boost for UK economy

The UK’s economy is finally recovering after five years or so mired in recession and the Office of National Statistics (which usually gets its figures wrong, first time at least) has given chancellor George Osborne and his Conservative Party a timely boost by adding 3.6 per cent or £10bn to the size of the economy.

How? By including the sale of illegal drugs and prostitution in the figures for the first time.

Unknown-4Drugs were worth $4.4bn back in 2009 the ONS reckons and prostitution a whopping £5.3bn. The latter is calculated by estimating the UK’s 60,879 prostitutes (seems a bit precise) took about 25 clients a week in 2009, at an average rate of £67.16 (ditto).

Given that the UK’s rather pathetic minimum wage for people over 21 is £6.31p it’s easy to see the attractions of the ‘oldest profession,’ assuming these encounters last about an hour.

Even George Osborne will be pushed to work these numbers into his tiresome mantra of working for ‘hard-working families.’ But Mer Majesty’s Revenue & Customs will no doubt have already calculated how much tax and VAT they’re missing.

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About Stephen Foster

Stephen is a former editor of Marketing Week and London Evening Standard advertising columnist. He wrote City Republic for Brand Republic and is a partner in communications consultancy The Editorial Partnership.
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