A survey has revealed that Britain's high living costs and low spending on healthcare and education give it the lowest score of all European nations on the Quality of Life Index.

The UK plummetted to the bottom of the index at the end of a year in which 500,000 public sector jobs were cut and national debt hit £900b.

Ann Robinson, Director of Consumer Policy at uSwitch who compiled the survey, said: "We may still be enjoying the fourth highest household income in Europe, but the high cost of living means that we're living to work.

"Last year at least our neighbours in Ireland were worse off; now we can't even console ourselves with that."

The average household energy bill in the UK is £1,273 per year, by far the highest in Europe as are our food and diesel prices.

Brits also suffer from the lowest holiday entitlement as well as one of the highest retirement ages.

Based on these facts it's no surprise that 46 per cent of those surveyed said they had consider emigrating, with Spain and France, which topped the QoL Index, the preferred destinations.

"It's not surprising that so many of us have contemplated starting a new life abroad.

"But for those of us who stick it out, there will be no choice but to batten down the hatches.

"Cutting back where possible to help combat high living costs will go some way to improving our quality of life," Robinson added.

Full results of the survey are available at http://bit.ly/p1Su4P
Posted on September 30 2011 at 1730 by Richard. Comment by emailing: richard.hook@pavpub.com