Drugs and prostitution to be included in UK national accounts

Reading about Pimps, Prostitutes and Drug dealing at first seemed a report on Politicians or Bankers until we saw it was the $16B a year hidden proceeds of crime to the UK economy.

Drugs and prostitution contributed £10bn to the UK economy in 2009. Photograph: Alamy

Contribution of drug dealers and prostitutes to the UK economy boosted figures by £10bn according to estimates

The Guardian
By Angela Monaghan
29 May 2014

George Osborne famously declared "we are all in this together" when it comes to Britain's prosperity. The Office for National Statistics has now taken him at his word, adding up the contribution made by prostitutes and drug dealers.

For the first time official statisticians are measuring the value to the UK economy of sex work and drug dealing – and they have discovered these unsavoury hidden-economy trades make roughly the same contribution as farming – and only slightly less than book and newspaper publishers added together.

Illegal drugs and prostitution boosted the economy by £9.7bn – equal to 0.7% of gross domestic product – in 2009, according to the ONS's first official estimate.

A breakdown of the data shows sex work generated £5.3bn for the economy that year, with another £4.4bn lift from a combination of cannabis, heroin, powder cocaine, crack cocaine, ecstasy and amphetamines.

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