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  1. The UK is the worst place to live in Europe, thanks to a combination of high living costs, a poor work-life balance and low government spending on healthcare and education, according to the latest uSwitch Quality of Life Index. This is the UK’s first year at the bottom of the Index, which calculates an overall quality of life score for ten European nations, based on 16 factors including net income, VAT and the cost of essential goods such as fuel, food and energy bills, as well as lifestyle issues like hours of sunshine, days holiday, working hours and life expectancy. The UK was joined at the bottom of the index by Sweden and Ireland, while France came first for the third year in a row, with Spain taking second place and the Netherlands third. Commenting on the findings, Ann Robinson, Director of Consumer Policy at uSwitch, said: “Last year at least our neighbours in Ireland were worse off, now we can’t even console ourselves with that. "We are now officially at the bottom of the pile. 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." Despite having higher than average pay, the UK’s overall score in the Quality of Life Index was dragged down by: long working hours the lowest number of holiday days a year a high retirement age the most expensive food high energy prices higher than average petrol costs very few hours of sunshine. The UK’s comparatively low investment in health and education also had a significant impact on its score, and with the government looking to cut public spending, things could get worse before they get better. The UK spends just 11.2% of GDP on health, which is higher than last year, but well below the European average of 12%; only Poland and Sweden spend less. The UK now spends less on education than it did in 2010 too – falling below the average again at just 5.36% of GDP.
  2. Hi there, We have just found a hatched spider nest outside the garage - the worrying thing is these spiders are black with red bottoms. I have a photo if anybody can help? ! The only thing I can find on the internet is Redback spiders which is worrying! I destroyed the nest and the baby spiders to be on the safe side as we have young children. Am just wondering about the mother and whether we need to do anything else?? Any advice would be much appreciated!! Thanks James
  3. in oz is the bubble on a spirit level on the bottom of the glass instead of the top
  4. Polkey

    bottom of the pile

    Has any one else out there had problems renting when they arrive in Oz? Were on the Gold Coast and been looking at rentals most of which are not that great but that aside every agent we has seen so far has told us we have very little chance of getting anything unless we pay 6 months upfront. Due to the fact that its easier for the land lords to check future Ozy tenants reference than it is to confirm the ones we have from UK. We lived with my wife's parents for 2 years whist we saved and applied, we have a ref from previous landlord, I've just got a job, we have sufficient funds to support our selfs but this doesn't seem to help. You have to do a 100 point test which I pass butt my wife doesn't because she does not have a second photo ID such as a driving license, apparently a passport with your visa stamped in is not seficiant enough proof that you are who you say you are pluss she has no job yet. They really seem reluctant, one agent said your going to be at the bottom of the pile reardless because its easier to deal with Ozzy applications, lazy @£$^. Funny though because they all said if you pay up six months in front then the rental is ours no questions asked. AAARRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHHHH John:arghh: