Britons compare poorly with Continentals on tax and living costs

Britons
work harder, pay more tax, enjoy less holiday time and pay more for goods than
Continental Europeans.

A
study by Bradford and Bingley shows British employees clock up an average of
8.7 hours a day at work compared to 7.7 in Italy, 7.9 in France, 8 in Germany
and 8.1 in Spain.

While
the average household income is the highest at £35,917, taxes are also the
highest. UK households are left with the highest disposable income, but this is
eroded due to the high cost of living, claims the report.

Britons
also save the least proportion of their disposable incomes – just five per cent
on average. Meanwhile, the French manage to put away 15.8 per cent, the Germans
15.1 per cent, the Spanish 11.6 per cent and 
Italians 10.2 per cent.

UK
workers also get stung when it comes to having time off, with just 28 public
and annual holidays a year on average. The French have 47 days, Spanish 46,
Italians 44, and Germans 41.

Ian
Darby, group commercial director at Bradford and Bingley, said: "We found
that rather than being rewarded for longer working hours and fewer days holiday,
everyday items cost us far more than our European counterparts – and we suffer
a higher tax burden."

He
said the average UK household has to work from January 1 to April 15 just to
pay their gross income tax bill.

By Quentin Reade

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