Rip-off Britain charges you £7.23 a pint
Today is a great day to be British. Just ahead of a glorious four-day weekend, what could we Brits possibly have to complain about? Perhaps the fact that we are top of the euro-leaderboard for getting shafted and paying over the odds for just about everything.
But this isn’t just good old fashioned whingeing, oh no. Our friends over at the European Commission have produced a report pointing out all the ways in which the UK is paying through the nose, while our European neighbours look on and sniff. Forget the Eurozone crisis, our shocking consumer prices will hamper economic recovery and have caused the EC to revise down its forecasts for British economic growth to just 0.5%.
The EC report found that “a combination of relatively high prices and margins....suggests that parts of the UK economy suffer from weak effective competition. In both manufacturing and services, gross operating margins in the UK are among the highest in the EU.”
So we are expensive producers. But we can’t get anywhere cheaply either- the report was shocked at the cost of our rail fares. Tell us something we don’t know. “The total cost per passenger kilometre of the rail network in the UK is around 70% higher than the average cost in a sample of four comparable rail systems...However, rail fares continue to be raised from already high levels…” And air travel isn’t much better “Aviation is taxed [in the UK] more than in any other member state via air passenger duty.”
So let’s all throw carbon polluting caution to the wind and just drive everywhere instead. So long as we can get past every other person doing the same thing, that is “for each kilometre of motorway, 113 million passenger vehicle kilometres are driven nationally each year, against 47 million in Germany, 39 million in France and 36 million in the US. In addition, UK roads carry more freight per kilometre of motorway than any other major economy apart from Japan.”
To be honest, we may as well all stay at home- then we don’t have to be expensive workers, paying a fortune to get to work. Not to mention paying for someone to look after the kids while we’re at work…“full-time pre-school childcare is still rare, insufficiently flexible and expensive. Alongside Ireland, childcare costs in the UK are higher than in any other EU country.”
So it looks like rip-off Britain is alive and well and encouraging us all to sit on our bottoms and do nothing productive. Why don’t we all go to the Olympics instead?
Well, rip-off seems to be the unofficial motto of the games, with the official food and drink prices having now been announced. While the range of foods have been chosen to reflect the diversity of Britain, the drink prices are certainly only indicative of the Chelsea set. Heineken ‘beer’ is set to cost £7.23 a pint and wine a mere £19.20 a bottle. Other official drinks prices are as follows:
Bottled water – £1.60
Fairtrade Tea from £2.00
Fairtrade Coffee from £2.60
500ml bottle of Coca Cola – £2.30
330ml bottle of Heineken – £4.20
London 2012 red wine 18.7cl – £4.80
However, Games caterers Locog’s chief executive Paul Deighton said the pricing was reasonable. Well he would, wouldn’t he.
"We want everyone who attends the Games this summer to have a fantastic experience and central to this is the food and drink that’s available," he said. “We believe that our prices are more than comparable to those found at other major sporting events which because of their temporary nature are often more expensive than the high street.”
The full list of Olympic food and drink prices can be found on the Telegraph website.