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Sex and drugs and accounting in the U.K. Add to ...

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No one knew or probably cared then but as Britain plunged into recession in 2009, shedding jobs and piling up bankruptcies, the nation continued to entertain itself behind closed doors, spending £10-billion ($18.1-billion) on illegal drugs and prostitutes. The figure is arrived at using economic modelling but it comes from a very reputable source, the Office of National Statistics. Britain’s ONS is engaged in a bout of self-improvement, tweaking the way it measures economic activity, and the latest series of reforms to the way it adds up the numbers concludes that five years ago the British economy was £33-billion larger than we believed and almost a third of that missing slice of cake was hidden for a reason.

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