According to the latest research, Britain is close to bottom of the list for families to live in the whole of Europe.
The study by the Relationship Council suggests that other European countries are far less stressful places to live, with British families much worse off than their continental counterparts. The main reasons for the poor ranking are long working days, financial difficulties and high levels of expenditure, according to the poll.
Around 14% of British households have ‘critical’ levels of debts and one in five admitting they regularly struggle to have enough money to pay for essentials. Even more worryingly, in excess of 340,000 Brits suffer from what has been classed as ‘severe housing deprivation’ in overcrowded accommodation, with no indoor toilet and no bathing or showering facilities. Despite Britain being the third largest economy in Europe, this level of poverty is 12 times higher than in other nations such as the Netherlands and also worse than countries which are considered as being possible future candidates for a debt rescue package, such as Spain.
However, it is not just the levels of debt that are leading to such misery for Brits. The UK has on average one of the longest working days in Europe, with the typical working week around 43 hours. Despite a clear work ethic to try and meet its commitments, the average family is foiled by the high cost of outgoings, around one pound in every four earned goes on childcare costs and one in seven households spend at least 40% of their total income on providing a roof over their heads. In comparison, only 1.8% of the French population spend this proportion of their money on either a mortgage or rent.
The survey results have led to the Relationship Council renewing calls to the government to do more to help families relieve the burden of debt, such as helping with childcare costs.
If you’re struggling to pay for essentials, speak to Blair Endersby about how an IVA could help you.