Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Britain is best .... but at what?

UK has 'worst quality of life in Europe'

Survey of 10 developed European countries puts UK at bottom of the pile due to high costs of living, while France takes top spot

Mark King
Thursday September 29 2011
The Guardian


The UK has been named the worst place to live in Europe for quality of life, behind countries with damaged economies such as Ireland and Italy, according to the latest uSwitch [http://www.uswitch.com/" title="uSwitch website] quality of life index.

The UK emerged as having the second lowest hours of sunshine a year, the fourth highest retirement age, and the third lowest spend on health as a percentage of GDP.

Despite above average household income ? the fourth highest in Europe ? Britons have 5.5 fewer days holiday a year than the European average and endure a below average government spend on education.

UK households also struggle with a high cost of living, with food and diesel prices the highest in Europe, and unleaded petrol, alcohol and cigarettes all costing more than the European average.

As a result, more than one in 10 Britons (12%) said they are "seriously considering" emigrating, with "broken society" the biggest concern for 59% of those questioned, followed by the cost of living (49%), and crime and violence (47%). Just 5% of those questioned are happy in the UK.

(A later report, a few days later, from the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, seemed to suggest the opposite of this, that Britain was rather popular with its inhabitants, but few details were published and they did not seem very convincing. When I tried to look up the report on the OECD's web-site, I could not find any mention of it. Did it ever exist? Was the newspaper 'story' about it just that, a story?)

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