Sex is a multibillion dollar business world-wide, and prostitution is an important component of this sector. In the UK the supply and demand side of the act of soliciting is illegal. Make it legal and acceptable once again and it can be taxed, providing valuable funds to our indebted government, and made safe, not only for the customers, but most importantly, for the women (and men) engaged in this line of work.

I agree with the Chairman that this is “a bad situation,” and it is wise for us to recognise the enormous potential we have to turn it around and make it beneficial to society, the people involved, and for the economy.

As far as society is concerned, it is considered a “vice,” but at the end of the day it is only sex. It is as natural as breathing. A former sex worker, Pye Jackobson from Sweden says that for a proportion of the customers it is “about holding someone,” and connecting with another human being. This is a cure for loneliness, and that is an unfortunate social norm that can not be legislated against.

If it were made more accessible, contained to certain districts in cities across the country, then men (and women) could pick and choose where they go to get this service. Market forces would do the rest. All of this readily available sex would surely prove to be far less harmful to marriages and families then people having affairs at work. If sex, rather than companionship, is the driving force behind an affair, then peoples needs could be better satisfied more easily through a safely regulated sexual services industry. I have no concern, as some do, that these “sex districts” (such as in Amsterdam) would become a blight on our cities. Sex stores have become a normal sight in city centres. I doubt brothels would be any more intrusive, either aesthetically or morally.

In light of the tragedies in Ipswich in 2006, David Cameron in his online diary (January 8th, 2007) stated that he is “not convinced legalising prostitution is the way forward,” and he went on to discuss the reasons why some women (and men) end up in prostitution, as he desires to tackle the cause rather than the symptoms of this age old aspect of society. The cause, in this modern era, is dependency on drugs (95% are dependent on drugs, according to an FT article, December 15th, 2006) which is why I believe the sooner it is legalised, the better. Legalise this and get the estimated 80,000 sex workers in the UK (2004, Home Office publication; Paying the Price) seen by doctors and nurses, and not only will they become immediately safer from the spread of STD’s, but they can, with help, begin the process of making themselves free from life threatening drug addictions.

Sending out a ‘strong message,’ like Sweden has, will only push this industry further underground, and those people caught up in it, further into their spiral of addiction and desperation. This will continue to provide an income source to organised crime. Legalise it and that becomes a profession, as it is in the Netherlands, and when it is a profession, it is liable to be taxed, and then that money which currently goes to organised crime and human traffickers could go to the Government. To start off with that would provide a further 80,000 people who can be taxed just like any self employed person. I expect VAT could be added to the fee charged for the service – since if it is classified as a service, and that should make VAT applicable. Then of course many brothels would probably become private limited companies, in which case 21% of their revenue would go to the Government in tax (current rate of Corporation Tax). All of this tax revenue would most likely cover the cost of treating many of these people for the drug addictions which got them into this situation.

In 2003 New Zealand decriminalised prostitution which has had the effect of “safeguard[ing] the human rights of sex workers, protect[ing] them from exploitation and promot[ing] occupational health and safety,” according to Ms Healy, a former sex worker from Sweden. Noble, and quite clearly, achievable aims. It is worth remembering the financial argument, since legalisation and regulation of this sector would take organised crime out of the equation, making it better for everyone involved.




  1. Probably depends on your emotional involvement with the prostitute in question. If you are simply using one on a regular basis, just for the sex, and its the same one, and you are no more emotionally involved then if you were using several different women – but just go to the same one for convenience, then I believe it is less harmful then an affair. An affair can often start not necessarily on the basis of requiring sex, but it may lead to that, in which case it would seem you are more emotionally involved then if you were seeing a prostitute.

  2. To legalise prostitusion is a thought to be concidered.
    Legalise it all over the world. This is the oldest proffesion in the world. It’s only well paid employees and or business men that see prostitutes. If regulated all governments can make money, yes it’s true. Pleas remember the socio– economical conditions and standards. Where does it come from. Some woman are born horny– not there fault it’s the chemical reaction of her parents.
    Taking Occupational Health & Safety in mind — Soliciting must stay an offence– No 1 keep the cheap hooker of the streets, airports, hotels etc.
    This hookers , when regulated needs medical treatment, phycilogical councelling, may it be for drug abuse and if this prostitution is a way of life, can be determind. Keep it an open afair with regular inspections by the health department. BUT THE HOOER ON THE STREET CORNER, DOING FOR WHAT EVER REASON MUST BE PROSECUTED, IT’S THOSE ONES THAT MAKE THE INDUSTRY DIRTY. MOST IMPORTENTLY- KEEP IT CLEAN – KEEP IT HEALTHY-KEEP IT REGULATED-
    This would’nt be an easy taks in any event, does’nt matter from which angle you look or maybe participate.

  3. It certainly wouldn’t be easy – but it would be worthwhile. In the UK alone, it would help an estimated 80,000 people at least. In purely economic terms, that is the equivalent of a relatively good sized regional town – Middlesbrough for example, in tax revenue terms. Currently those people are not, or barely taxed because their incomes lay outside the system, being that they are controlled by the illegitimate world, the same world which not only only fuels their drug habits and keeps them indebted to the suppliers of those drugs, making abuse easy, not only from some problematic patrons of their services, but also from those “managing” them. Legalise them and they can be protected both ways, and from the drugs which do as much or more harm then a few abusive patrons ever could be.

    The hooker on the street : is she more or less of a problem? In economic terms they are simply keeping their costs down (except for the normal cut they have to pay to pimps, who are normally the pushers of the drugs who keep them in that situation) and keeping themselves accessible to a potentially wider range of clients. Whilst an eyesore, in some respects, that is the situation they are in, and by being on the street, that is their adaptation to the situation. In historic terms, in London at least, I do know this is far less of a problem than it used to be. The normal “circuit” the hookers would walk would be down from the West End, along the Strand, and back, from dusk until the early hours of the morning. Literature from less than 50 years ago speaks of this. Further back, many pubs in London would have “back rooms” where patrons could see prostitutes. St. James Park was once the favorite hang out for women of the night. That was partly why Kensington Gardens were developed, because the hookers wouldn’t travel that far, and they could remain largely unspoilt. I think (but don’t quote me on this) that is was Samuel Johnson who said that some of the most thrilling sex he ever had was on a bridge over the Thames – actually leaning over whilst the woman held onto the railings – with a prostitute, and all he paid was a few pennies and a large glass of wine.

    That historical diversion was simply designed to show how it was more acceptable, and certainly more prolific in the past, and the hookers we see on the streets are not such an enormous problem. I do not believe they should be excluded from help simply because they do not operate out of set places of business, but simply be assisted into those companies – if brothels were to become Ltd’s – if they do not decide to get out of this line of work after receiving help. I am sure some will decide to do that. Some may not. They should be helped just as much as people working in brothels. Either way, by regulation of this whole sector, it would make it taxable and more importantly, clean and safe. For customers and service providers.

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