1:39pm UK, Thursday September 29, 2011
The UK is now officially the worst place to live in Europe, with people getting a “raw deal” on quality of life and high cost of living, a new study has revealed.
Britons are faced with some of the highest retail prices in Europe
France and Spain came out on top of uSwitch’s Quality of Life Index, with the UK bottom of a 10-country league table.
The index covers working hours, VAT, holidays, spending on health and education – and hours of sunshine.
Last year at least our neighbours in Ireland were worse off, now we can’t even console ourselves with that. We are now officially at the bottom of the pile.
Ann Robinson, director of consumer policy at uSwitch.com
The UK also came bottom of another table based on the cost of energy, petrol, food, alcohol, cigarettes and life expectancy.
Food and diesel prices are the highest in Europe, while unleaded petrol, alcohol and cigarettes all cost more than the European average, said the report.
People in the UK now have the lowest holiday entitlement in Europe as well as having one of the highest retirement ages, the study found.
A survey of over 2,000 adults found their biggest concern was “broken society”, as well as the cost of living, crime and violence.
Spain is high on the list for quality of life – but Brits can’t afford to holiday there
France topped the index for the third year in a row, despite the average household annual net income being £7,000 below that of the UK.
Ann Robinson, director of consumer policy at uSwitch.com, said: “Last year at least our neighbours in Ireland were worse off, now we can’t even console ourselves with that.
“We are now officially at the bottom of the pile.”