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UK is now 'almost the worst area to live in Europe'


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The Herald - July 16 2008

 

The UK offers among the lowest quality of life in Europe despite residents earning the highest incomes, according to research released today.

 

The price of fuel and other essential goods, below-average spending on health and education, short holidays and late retirement, place Britain just above Ireland at the bottom of the uSwitch.com European quality of life index.

 

Although British families earn more than £10,000 over the European average, they pay the highest prices for diesel, 18% above the average, and the second-highest price for unleaded petrol, 6% more than average.

 

They also pay 49% more for gas and 5% more for electricity - third-highest in Europe.

 

UK spending on healthcare and education is below the average, while life expectancy is the third-lowest at 78.9 years, compared to 80.9 in France or 80.7 in Sweden.

 

Workers have the third-highest retirement age and suffer the shortest holiday entitlement.

 

The weather adds to the grim tally, with Britain receiving 80% less sunshine than Spain, and 17% less than the European average.

 

A total of 41,026 residents left the UK in 2006, the highest number in Europe, with total emigration increasing by 30% from the UK since 2001.

 

The study assessed 19 factors to rank the UK in relation to nine other major countries across Europe.

 

Spain offers the best quality of life in Europe, despite families earning an annual net income of £16,789 - £8500 below the average.

 

The country enjoys low taxation, cheaper goods, higher than average life expectancy and a generous holiday allowance, uSwitch said.

 

France came second, boasting the second-highest spend on healthcare and the highest holiday allowance at 40 days.

 

Ann Robinson, director of consumer policy at uSwitch.com, said: "Soaring food prices and inflation, not to mention high property costs, are placing the biggest squeeze on disposable incomes.

 

"British households are facing huge financial pressure as take home pay stagnates, inflation continues to rise, and economic growth and house prices fall."

Good to see Ireland is keeping such fine company - looks like we're all in the shyte together. Edited by Red_Zed
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Those surveys are always a crock of sh*te.

 

This one concentrates on purely financial themes - there are very few subjective questions on it bar the bloody weather.

 

There are only 10 countries in the survey and I can think of plenty of other countries in Europe that'd be far worse to live in the Ireland or the UK

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There are only 10 countries in the survey and I can think of plenty of other countries in Europe that'd be far worse to live in the Ireland or the UK

 

TBH, I haven't seen many - at least in western Europe. Probably Sweden, Finland, etc. because of the weather. Others?

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TBH, I haven't seen many - at least in western Europe. Probably Sweden, Finland, etc. because of the weather. Others?

 

 

germany, france, italy, spain, portugal would be the ones that immediately spring to mind, wouldnt fancy living in any of those places.

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germany, france, italy, spain, portugal would be the ones that immediately spring to mind, wouldnt fancy living in any of those places.

 

Apart from Italy which would probably be a nightmare due to the culture of corruption, all of those are better places to live than the UK.

 

However, the question is obviously different if you're asking 'which would be the best/worst places for an English-speaking person, or even a British person to live in'. There's always going to be a natural bias towards the 'home' country in such a survey.

 

On the other hand, a think a lot of non-British people would rank the UK pretty high on the list of places they'd like to live due to the world class entertainment industry - theatres, football, etc.

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Apart from Italy which would probably be a nightmare due to the culture of corruption, all of those are better places to live than the UK.

 

However, the question is obviously different if you're asking 'which would be the best/worst places for an English-speaking person, or even a British person to live in'. There's always going to be a natural bias towards the 'home' country in such a survey.

 

On the other hand, a think a lot of non-British people would rank the UK pretty high on the list of places they'd like to live due to the world class entertainment industry - theatres, football, etc.

 

 

i'm not British, John, i can also speak German pretty fluently, and i can get by speaking French. and i dont honestly think any of those countries would be better to live in than England to be totally honest. France i could probably tolerate, but i dont know how you put up with living in Germany. its a horrible place.

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TBH, I haven't seen many - at least in western Europe. Probably Sweden, Finland, etc. because of the weather. Others?

 

Italy would be nice except for the rampant corruption. France and Spain would be grand

Greece, Bulgaria, Romania for example. Counting Russia as part pf Europe I'd include that as well becasue of the corruption and the crime

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Italy would be nice except for the rampant corruption. France and Spain would be grand

Greece, Bulgaria, Romania for example. Counting Russia as part pf Europe I'd include that as well becasue of the corruption and the crime

 

Yeah, once you get into Eastern Europe, it's defintely a lower standard of living - and the weather's not great in most of those places, either - especially Russia.

 

Then again, the comparisons really depend on how wealthy the person is - are we saying he'd move from being on an average wage in country A to being on an average wage in country B or from being super-rich in country A to being super-rich in country B?

 

What are the factors to consider? I reckon (at least)

 

- weather

- availability of shopping, healthcare, etc.

- general level of honesty/corruption

- chances of being a victim of crime, flood, earthquake, US invasion, etc.

 

others?

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but i dont know how you put up with living in Germany. its a horrible place.

 

easily the best place I've ever been, let alone lived in

 

But not all places in Germany are the same. I dare say living in (say) Krefeld's pretty crap. Similarly, in England somewhere like Exeter's a lot better than somewhere like Peckham or Middlesbrough.

 

Where were you in Germany, exactly?

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Yeah, once you get into Eastern Europe, it's defintely a lower standard of living - and the weather's not great in most of those places, either - especially Russia.

 

Then again, the comparisons really depend on how wealthy the person is - are we saying he'd move from being on an average wage in country A to being on an average wage in country B or from being super-rich in country A to being super-rich in country B?

 

What are the factors to consider? I reckon (at least)

 

- weather

- availability of shopping, healthcare, etc.

- general level of honesty/corruption

- chances of being a victim of crime, flood, earthquake, US invasion, etc.

 

others?

 

Culture/entertainment.

Transport

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Yeah, once you get into Eastern Europe, it's defintely a lower standard of living - and the weather's not great in most of those places, either - especially Russia.

 

Then again, the comparisons really depend on how wealthy the person is - are we saying he'd move from being on an average wage in country A to being on an average wage in country B or from being super-rich in country A to being super-rich in country B?

 

What are the factors to consider? I reckon (at least)

 

- weather

- availability of shopping, healthcare, etc.

- general level of honesty/corruption

- chances of being a victim of crime, flood, earthquake, US invasion, etc.

 

others?

 

 

Weather - Not everyone likes the same thing, i much prefer cooler climates, as i suffer from a skin condition called "Irishness" which causes burning in even moderate climates.

 

healthcare - i think he NHS to be honest is a cracking thing, and i dont think there is a massive amount of difference between British health care and other European countries, certainly not enough to warrant moving away. You just have to see the problems that British ex pats are having when living in Europe to see all is not eactly briliant in other countries.

 

Shopping? Shopping? have you grown a fanny since i last met you? anyway, the development of the interweb, and pretty much anything you want on demand makes that even less a consideration.

 

Chances of being a victim of crime flood earthquake etc. i've no figures at hand here, but i would speculate that fewer people get killed by natural disasters in Britain than elsewhere in Europe.

 

Entertainment is a big factor, and i genuinely believe is the most important one, and i think that Britain, and indeed Ireland, do that better than any other countries in Europe.

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easily the best place I've ever been, let alone lived in

 

But not all places in Germany are the same. I dare say living in (say) Krefeld's pretty crap. Similarly, in England somewhere like Exeter's a lot better than somewhere like Peckham or Middlesbrough.

 

Where were you in Germany, exactly?

 

 

Berlin for a few months. i just didnt like it. i couldnt warm to the place or the people. but each to their own, it just wasnt for me. Similarly Dublin is another place i detest with a passion, but i wouldnt say it is a true reflection of Ireland, so in that respect i'm sure there are nice places in Gemany where the people are actually friendly, but the whole experience in Berlin put me off the place

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The weather in Finland/Sweden isn't that bad, just a bit cold and dark a few months during the winter that's all.

 

:D so apart from the cold, the dark and the total inability to play a long ball game, it's ok ;)

 

As already mentioned, different people place different importance on different things, but for me the short and dim daylight in winter would be a total non-starter. It was actually one of the best things about living in America - even in the middle of winter the daylight was fairly bright and it didn't get dark until well after 5pm.

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Shopping? Shopping? have you grown a fanny since i last met you? anyway, the development of the interweb, and pretty much anything you want on demand makes that even less a consideration.

 

Hmm, maybe.

 

On the other hand one of the biggest pains in the *rse here is that virtually all the shops are shut on Sunday. If you want to eat on Sunday you have to make the effort to get the food in on Friday or Saturday - and with football-watching/beer drinking obligations as they are, this is not always possible.

 

There's also a substantial difference between somewhere like most UK/German towns (even Dublin!) where you can basically just walk out to the shops, browse/buy books, foods, clothes, etc. and somewhere like most places in America where you have to drive.

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Entertainment is a big factor, and i genuinely believe is the most important one, and i think that Britain, and indeed Ireland, do that better than any other countries in Europe.

 

I think you're right - and what's more, as I said, a lot of Europeans would probably agree with you there.

 

British TV is miles better than any other I've seen.

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germany, france, italy, spain, portugal would be the ones that immediately spring to mind, wouldnt fancy living in any of those places.

 

I don't like Germany - Britain but more dour - but the others I'd live in over Britain any day.

 

Not sure what you mean by 'entertainment' in Britain? You on about the telly? Our telly's better, but otherwise the bars, restaurants, parks, public spaces are much preferable in Spain, Italy, France and Portugal than Britain.

 

Not to mention that the British are a gang of miserable f*ckers.

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