UK ‘fourth most expensive country to buy booze’

The UK is the fourth most expensive country to buy booze and cigarettes, new analysis of official stats has found, with Brits shelling out 60% more than their European neighbours.

The official figures, which were published by Eurostat and analysed by online marketplace found alcoholic drinks and cigarettes to be the second most expensive consumer good category, costing British households around 57.4% more than the EU average. The category was behind only housing, water, electricity, gas and other fuels, according to the data, which set Brits back an additional 59.2%.

Out of the 32 European countries listed, the most expensive countries for booze and tobacco were Iceland, Norway and Ireland.

Eating out in the UK was more in line with other EU member states however, costing only 6% more than the EU average, taking the UK into the middle of the table, as the 13th most expensive country in the list to eat out.

However the overall cost of living in the UK was recorded as 17.4% above the EU average, making it the ninth most expensive country for all categories of consumer goods and services.

Denmark was the most expensive EU Member State in 2017 for restaurants and hotels, at 51 % above the EU average – but was beaten by non-EU members Iceland and Norway (who are members of the European Economic Area (EEA)), and Switzerland (which is part of the European single market).

These same non-EU members proved to be the most expensive countries overall with Iceland paying 71.6% above the EU average, Switzerland (65.6%) and Norway (51.9%). The countries with the cheapest cost of living were Bulgaria, Romania, and Poland, who were 56%, 51.6% and 46.8% below the EU average respectively.

The UK is set to exit the EU on 29 March 2019

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