Belfast Telegraph

Gin, non-dairy milk and cycle helmets make Britain's inflation basket of goods

An increasing number of gin drinkers and vegans has led to the popular tipple and items such as oat milk being added to Britain's inflation basket.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) said that the increase in popularity of dairy-free diets has led to non-dairy milk - such as soya, rice and oat milk - making an appearance on the list it uses to track prices for the first time.

The statistics body cited the rise of campaigns such as 'Veganuary', where some people go vegan for a month.

Gin returns to the basket after a 13-year absence following a rise in consumption and after a growth in the number of small gin producers.

The ONS also said that the list will now include bicycle helmets after a 12-year absence, due to the increase in the popularity of cycling linked to sporting successes by British cyclists in the Olympics and the Tour De France.

Children's scooters are also being added, replacing children's swings, as well as council tax.

The list is used to calculate CPIH, the headline measure of inflation.

On the way out are basic mobile phone handsets as their decline in popularity in the face of smartphones has been "making it difficult to collect consistent prices for them".

Senior ONS statistician Phil Gooding said: "The annual basket review enables us to keep up to date with all the latest trends, ensuring our inflation measures reflect the changing costs experienced by consumers.

"The addition of council tax to CPIH will ensure it remains our most comprehensive measure of consumer inflation."

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