£139.50 a year for this?

How many billions are there in a billion? This is the top story on the BBC News website right now:

Ill health 'costs economy £1bn'

Ill health costs the British economy over £1bn a year - the same as the cost of running the NHS for a year, a report is set to say.

The calculation will appear in an analysis by Dame Carol Black, national director for health and work.

Dame Carol's report will say the total cost of ill-health to the British economy is around £103bn.

The bulk of that - £63bn - is made of the benefit costs and lost taxes for people who are not working due to illness or disability.

The rest of the bill is made up the cost of the care given by family and friends, the cost to an employer of having someone absent from work and other additional costs.

Next year I'll send them a check for £1.39. I'm sure they won't mind.

p.s. I would also comment on treating 'benefit costs and lost taxes' as a cost to the economy, but learning to count is a good starting point.

UPDATE: They have finally corrected the story. It took a while...

by datacharmer | Monday, March 17, 2008
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