EU to add prostitution and drug-trafficking to GDP
The European Parliament and the Council of Europe have ordered EU member states to take the income of prostitutes, drug dealers and smugglers into account when calculating the GDP. Poland is already trying to imagine what the GDP calculation will be like with “the new rule”.
“To tell the truth, the GDP should measure useful things and here is a great discrepancy,” Polish Minister of Finance Jacek Rostowski said.
Ex-MEP and member of the Polish Sejm Zbigniew Kuźmiuk does not understand the new initiative either: “I am surprised that the majority supported the idea in the European Parliament. I think it must be some huge misunderstanding.”
Besides prostitution, the GPD will also include drug trafficking and contraband. While it may be possible to calculate the income of these two spheres with the help of police statistics, it is going to be much more problematic when it comes to prostitution.
“Prostitution is not prohibited in Poland. That is why the police cannot grasp its scale. We cannot define the price level for prostitution either,” Grażyna Puhalska from the Main Police Department said.
Meanwhile, analyst from Adam Smith Centre Andrzei Sadowski thinks that the European Parliament wants to calculate the income of prostitutes and drug dealers in order “to increase the status”:
“This is an attempt to improve Europe’s economic status that is steadily dropping even if compared to Africa.”
Prostitution and drug trafficking are already included in the GDP, other experts think. The money made in these spheres of business is invisible at first but it is spent on ordinary goods and gets taxed.
Poland’s Central Statistics Department has faced a challenge. They need to invent a method that will allow them to calculate the average number of prostitutes and the cost of their services. The result must be sent to Brussels by September 2014.