Personal Finance

Spending on ‘booze, smoking and drugs’ at record low

Britons are spending less money than ever on alcohol, tobacco and narcotics, official figures show.

“Weekly spending on booze, fags and narcotics fell” for the first time since records began in 2001-02, says The Guardian. In the 12 months to March 2016, Brits forked out an average of £11.40 a week.

The paper adds this partly reflects “the decline in the number of people who smoke”. 

When the Office for National Statistics first collected the figures, the average spend on these items was £20 per week, says the BBC [2].

Trends varied across the UK, with families in Scotland spending £8.90 a week on alcohol compared to the wider average of £7.80, says the BBC.

Scots also spent £4.90 a week on cigarettes, well above the £3 spent in Wales and £2.90 in England but below the £6.60 per week shelled out in Northern Ireland.

In place of smoking and drinking, people are now spending a greater share of their money on eating out and holidays.

Spending on restaurants and hotels rose above £45 a week on average for the first time in five years, says the Guardian, while a further £68 was spent on “recreation and culture”.

Overall, spending adjusted to take account of inflation remained unchanged at £528.90 a week, the largest share going on transport and housing, at a combined total of £145.20.

“Households have still not fully recovered from the financial crisis, with family spending still below the levels seen before 2007,” adds the Guardian.

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