28th March 2008
Crystal meth, crack and skunk have all been added to the typical basket of UK goods used to measure inflation, the Office for National Statistics has announced. Speed, bennies, glue and chewing tobacco are all to be removed from goods used to measure the Retail Price Index.
Increased consumer spending on crystal meth and crack reflects changes in modern shopping habits says the government department, which updates its 650-strong basket of goods and services every year, to better reflect public spending trends. ‘Crystal meth and skunk have been added as the popularity of make-at-home drugs continues to rise.’ said an ONS spokesman.
The bureau’s website explained that skunk was being included for the first time to reflect the fact that rolling your own is now more popular than smoking illegally imported foreign cigarettes and because in volume terms it is thought to outsell most breakfast cereals. The removal of bennies from the basket reflects a move towards more exotic drugs and away from simple misuse of prescription drugs, which is increasingly seen as unadventurous and lacking in ambition, said the ONS.
The easy and legal availability of nicotine patches means that consumers are buying far less chewing tobacco. ‘It’s slow, messy and it tastes bad – but then someone told me to stick it on my arm,’ said one late convert to nicotine patches. Other items added to the basket include prunes, Red Bull, speed-camera fines, internet porn, and TV Easy. Items removed include Spangles, Crocks shoes, library fines, Asian Babes and a large number of England ‘Euro 2008’ shirts.
Update: This was listed on Google News ( news.google.co.uk ) so it must be right to post it here....