Belfast Telegraph

Clubs out, coffee pods in, the new cost of living basket

By Roger Baird

It's in with women's leggings and out with nightclub entry fees - the basket of items used to calculate the cost of living has been updated to reflect recent trends.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS), which calculates official inflation figures in the Consumer Price Index (CPI), said there were now fewer nightclubs in the UK.

And those nightclubs which were still swinging were less likely to charge entry.

Phil Gooding, CPI statistician at the ONS, added: "With the number of nightclubs charging entry declining, we can no longer justify keeping these fees in the basket."

But the ONS has started to add coffee pods, nail varnish and women's leggings to the average basket.

Coffee pods have been included to reflect the popularity of premium coffee made with pod machines, which promise a quick and usually fail-safe brew from a wide range of beans to suit individual tastes.

Cream liqueur has been added, not because it is being embraced by the drinking public but because it represents a sub-sector within the spirits category, which has a high level of price changes because of widespread discounting.

Nail varnish is in the basket because it is attracting higher levels of spending as designers release new colours far more often, usually to accompany their seasonal collections.

And women's leggings are now included because the ONS said that women's clothing had been under-represented in the basket in the past.

Computer software for word processing, anti-virus functions or web design replaces CD-Roms in the basket - some would say not before time.

And microwave rice in the form of pouches or trays is another new addition, reflecting longer-term trends towards prepared foods.

The list of removed items includes organic carrots and organic dessert apples. They have been eliminated as organic produce becomes more mainstream. From now on, organic apples will be included with dessert apples, and organic carrots will be included with standard carrots

Rewritable DVDs are also out as they are said to represent a declining technology which is being superseded by streaming services and personal video recorders.

CD-Roms are another "declining technology" as people increasingly download software.

Belfast Telegraph