Cost of living crisis 'will hit UK hard' says Keir Starmer
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Europe is home to some of the most expensive places to live in the world. Even though the UK is no longer a member of the European Union, many Brits still have a desire to move to different countries on the continent. But how do some of Britain’s favourite European countries cost to live in?
Despite Europe being a popular place to live and work, the continent is struggling with the same inflation issue the UK currently is – spurred by emergence from lockdowns and the rising cost of energy caused by disruption to the global supply chain.
Headline inflation came in at 3.4 percent last month, according to preliminary data from Europe’s statistics office Eurostat – the highest since 2008.
In Germany, strikes have been taking place in certain sectors to pressure the rate of pay to rise in line with inflation.
Countries like France have stepped in to counter the rising inflation across the country, but many experts believe the inflation issue is transitory.
In France, the cost of living depends heavily on where you live, with the difference between Paris and other regions being particularly stark.
In Paris, you are likely to pay 36 percent more on accommodation than you would in the provinces.
The price of buying everyday goods in France is largely comparable to that of the UK – with items like bread, stamps and eating out all similar to UK rates.
The average disposable income per month in Germany is €2,574, according to research done in 2017 – this depends on where you live, with cities like Munich, Berlin and Frankfurt being more expensive than other areas.
Some €890 of this is spent on having somewhere to live and associated bills such as energy and water.
On average, German households spend €356 per month, around 13.8 percent of their income on food, beverages and tobacco.
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The Netherlands is relatively expensive to live in compared to other European countries.
The cost of living is variable depending on where you live, with cities in the centre and west like Amsterdam, Rotterdam and The Hague being much more expensive than countryside locations.
While it’s difficult to give a clear picture of the cost of living in The Netherlands, prices are somewhat comparable to the UK; for example, bread costs €1.20, a short bus ride setting residents back €2 and a litre of petrol costs €1.65.
Switzerland is famous for being one of the most expensive places to live in the world.
This is matched by high household incomes – in 2018, the average disposable income for households was 7,069 F (£5,716.58).
The Swiss have several household expenses, including having to pay for health insurance, which takes up 6.5 percent of income and contributions to their version of the state pension, which takes up 9.5 percent of income.
In Italy, living expenses such as food, taxes and bills take up more than 70 percent – 10 percent more than the European average of 60 percent.
This difference is due to overall income, which for Italians is 25 percent lower than the European average.
Driving in Italy is one of the country’s biggest expenses – the cost of fuel is 8.9 percent higher than the European average and while public transport is the cheapest of the EU member states, the cost of owning a car is an incredible 42 percent higher than the European average.
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