Thursday, 28 April 2011

The case for the legalisation of brothels in the UK

In a time of economic hardship such as the UK is now in, I believe that a solution to extra tax revenue is being over-looked due to what would seem to be a rather old-fashioned, head-in-the-sand attitude.  That solution would be to open licensed, legal brothels.  Now, I can imagine that there will be a few raised eyebrows at that suggestion but I believe that it is a reasonable solution that has nothing but positive benefits for society.

One of the arguments against legalising brothels is that it somehow encourages prostitution; this is a fallacy because prostitution goes on regardless.  Some women have no option but to turn to prostitution to survive and it is these women who will benefit the most from the legalisation of brothels.  Rather than risking their lives on the streets, potential prey for any rapist or abusive clients, they would have scheduled appointments in a location away from any family they may have and to whom they do not wish to draw undue embarrassment.  The brothel manager would employ the women; meaning that there would be extra income from the tax and National Insurance payments each employee would be paying.  And I am quite sure that the Government would make sure that ‘sexual services’ would be subject to Value Added Tax although as a lot of MPs take advantage of these types of services, perhaps, they wouldn’t be inclined to make them VATable.

Legalising brothels would bring in revenue from the sale of licenses (subject to approval) and have the effect of removing an unsightly problem from the streets of towns and cities.

A major advantage would also be that legalised brothels would ensure that illegal prostitution would be minimised and the spread of sexually transmitted infections would likewise be reduced due to regular screening for STIs.  The health benefits of STI screening would reduce the cost of treating those infections on the National Health Service, a massive benefit at a time of cuts in NHS funding.

The women who are forced by circumstances to turn to prostitution would be safely taken out of the hands of exploitative and/or abusive pimps and given some degree of safety on premises that could be visited on a regular basis by the police or some form of Local Authority inspector to ensure that the environment is a safe one.  Legalised brothels would also enable the industry to have standardised pricing for their services, ensuring that those women unfortunate enough to have to provide those services are not being unduly exploited, as the prices would include a percentage that would go towards the upkeep of the brothel and the management personnel costs.

Prostitution is a problem that is not going to go away whether it is legalised or not but if it were legalised at least it would provide a shot in the arm for the economy and safety for the women who provide the services and their clients.

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