The huge cost of being British

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Being British comes at a huge cost. New research from the Centre for Economics and Business Research has discovered that every year we have to shell out £2,000 more than people elsewhere in the world on the basics.

So why is it so ridiculously expensive to be British?


Why?

The researchers found that it's 11% more expensive to live in the UK than the average international cost. The main culprits pushing up the cost of life are transport, energy and property.

Property and utilities cost around 18% more than the international average. Some of this is a historical anomaly: property in the UK has been overpriced for some time, and anyone who is struggling to pay their enormous rental bills and save a small fortune for a house deposit will tell you that something somewhere seems wrong.

One solution, the researchers argue, is for the government to find a way to make home building more attractive. The CEBR Tweeted: " Pro-growth planning policy to reduce UK property costs would help to ease pressures on costs of living."

Fuel

Energy, meanwhile, is expensive because of a combination of the cost of bringing energy to a small island nation, the decision to run it as a commercial business driven by profit generation, and government policies demanding we pay for renewable energy development while we also shoulder the rising cost of traditional fuels.

But one of the most striking costs can be laid firmly at the door of the government: transport costs 31% more than overseas. The extraordinary tax burden on fuel and cars, has pushed the cost of travel into the stratosphere. For a government that says it is committed to making it easier for business to reach the regions they have a funny way of showing it.

Action

The researchers calculated that the combined effect of these three things costs us an extra £2,000 a year. It is calling for the government to take action to bring the costs down closer to the average, pushing more property development and lower fuel taxes.

It estimated that doing so would provide a major boost to the UK economy. It tweeted: "UK achieving OECD average prices for property, transport and energy could deliver 15% boost to GDP over 10 years."

The researchers revealed that it costs us more to have fun too. Recreation and culture cost around 14% more than elsewhere in the world, while hotels and restaurants cost 12% more.

It comes as small consolation, therefore, to hear that things are even worse elsewhere. Denmark is the most expensive place in the world to live - where prices are 29% higher than the international average. Ireland also fares worse than Britain.

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