HC Deb 26 March 1981 vol 1 c425W
Mr. Sims

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if, further to his reply to the hon. Member for Chislehurst on 26 January, he is satisfied that the figures on consumption of alcohol quoted are strictly comparable; and, if not, if he will publish corrected figures in the Official Report.

Mr. Peter Rees

I regret that the estimates of expenditure on alcoholic drink as a proportion of total household spending in European Community countries given in the reply to my hon. Friend on 26 January—[Vol. 997, c. 321]—have been found not to be comparable. The estimate for the United Kingdom—7.9 per cent.—included all expenditure on alcoholic drink, whereas figures for the other European Community countries excluded expenditure on alcoholic drink purchased in hotels, restaurants, bars, cafes, and so on. Figures for total expenditure on alcoholic drink are not available for most ECC countries.

The following revised table gives the United Kingdom figure on a comparable basis;

Expenditure on alcoholic drink* as a percentage of total household spending‡ in 1978
per cent
Belgium 1.7
Denmark‡ 4.2
France 2.3
West Germanyy║ 2.2
Italy 2.1
Luxembourg 1.7
Netherlands 2.5
United Kingdom 2.1


ESA National Accounts 1970–78, Statistical Office of the European Communities.


*Defined as expenditure occurring in off-licences and similar retail outlets.

†Defined as the final consumption of resident and of nonresident households on the economic territory.



¶Not available.

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