People in the UK work harder, spend less time on holiday and pay more for
goods and in tax than other Europeans.
A study by Bradford & Bingley shows British employees clock up an
average of 8.7 hours a day at work compared to 7.7 hours in Italy, 7.9 hours in
France and 8 hours in Germany.
The research reveals that average household income in the UK is the highest
in Europe at £35,917 but British workers pay more tax and social security
contributions than other Europeans.
UK households are left with the highest disposable income, but this is
eroded by the higher cost of living, the report finds.
Britons also save the least proportion of their disposable incomes – on
average just five per cent. In comparison the French save 15.8 per cent of
their income, the Germans 15.1 per cent, the Spanish 11.6 per cent, while the
Italians manage to put away 10.2 per cent.
Ian Darby, group commercial director at Bradford & 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 1 January to 15 April just
to pay the gross income tax bill.
UK employees also have least time off with only 28 days each year on
average, including public and annual holidays, compared to 47 days in France,
46 in Spain and 41 days in Germany.