London, November 20 : The British Government is not yet ready to introduce an outright ban on paying for sex, as a study report depicts prostitution as a very big business that commands too much public support.
The study by the Home office has found that prostitution is a one billion-pound business, and involves 80,000 sex workers.
It has even revealed that about 10 per cent of men had used a prostitute at some point.
Home Secretary Jacqui Smith has shelved plans to legalise small brothels, taking into account the findings of the new study.
The proposal to legislate in this regard was forwarded when former Prime Minister Tony Blair was in office.
The findings of a MORI poll indicated that about 47 per cent people could oppose this legislation.
Jackie says that she will instead try to see that paying for sex with a prostitute "controlled for another person's gain" becomes a criminal offence, with a maximum fine of 1,000 pounds.
She is even planning a campaign to discourage men from using prostitutes.
The Home Office report said that Britain was not yet ready to follow Sweden's ban on paying for sex.
"The Swedish Government created their offence only after several years of close consultation with practitioners and over time the attitudes of the Swedish public grew to support the proposed legislation," Times Online quoted the report as stating.
"In the UK, public attitudes are currently much more divided, suggesting that the Government needs to work to challenge the attitudes of sex buyers and the public as a whole before criminalising the purchase of sex per se becomes a viable option," it said.