Britain and Ireland are apparently the worst places to live in Europe, at least according to a survey conducted by price comparison website uSwitch.

The Quality of Life Index found that British people no longer had the highest net income in Europe, having been overtaken by the Netherlands, Denmark and Ireland.

The survey looks at other factors such as retirement age, holiday entitlements, spending on education and health and the cost of food and petrol.

Britain's retirement age is currently the 4<sup>th highest in Europe and is expected to rise in the next few years. On average Briton's have a week less holiday entitlement than those on the continent, while life expectancy is a year less than in Spain, which together with France was found to have the best quality of life.

Ann Robinson, Director of Consumer Policy at uSwitch, said, "Last year compared with our European neighbours we were miserable but rich, this year we're miserable and poor. Whereas some countries work to live, UK consumers live to work. In fact we work harder, take less holiday and retire later than most of our European counterparts - but the high cost of living makes this a necessity rather than a choice. With salaries failing to keep up with inflation, it's likely that we're a long way from achieving the quality of life that people in other countries enjoy."

"The picture looks bleak for British consumers with confidence crumbling as the reality of the Government's deficit reduction starts to bite. Uncertainty over jobs, interest rates and taxes has left nearly half of consumers (45%) concerned about their finances and more than 24 million (49%) feeling worse off than ever before."

"Perhaps unsurprisingly given how life in the UK compares, three in ten people believe that now is a good time to emigrate."