rip-off britain?

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  • rip-off britain?
  • Premier Icon wwaswas
    Subscriber

    per GALLON

    they’re not *real* gallons, though.

    bencooper
    Member

    am I just being silly in even trying to compare our prices

    Yes. I’m dual-national, I see how much my US relatives have to struggle to make ends meet, taking second and third jobs to try to pay for things like healthcare and child services that we get for free.

    We have it a lot better, believe me.

    Premier Icon footflaps
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    Income inequality is far greater in the US, the winners do really well, but at the expense of everyone else who struggles.

    Premier Icon tomhoward
    Subscriber

    Plus don’t our cousins across the pond have MUCH less paid holiday off work? Like like 10 days a year plus public holidays? That’s what would suck the most IMO.

    cheekyboy
    Member

    Yes. I’m dual-national, I see how much my US relatives have to struggle to make ends meet, taking second and third jobs to try to pay for things like healthcare and child services that we get for free

    For free ?

    The last I looked at my pay slip I was deducted about 1/3 on income tax and NI contributions so it is not free, its just a different way of paying.

    Premier Icon footflaps
    Subscriber

    A more efficient way of paying, the US system is one of the most expensive and least efficient out there.

    Yes treatment offered by the NHS is free.

    bencooper
    Member

    Plus don’t our cousins across the pond have MUCH less paid holiday off work?

    My uncle, after 15 years with the same company, now gets two weeks (unpaid) holiday a year.

    b r
    Member

    I remember my US colleagues been amazed once I’d actually explained how the NHS worked (and was paid for) – as they’d got the impression (from their media) that is was (their words) “a Socialist system where you only got the basic of care and procedures”.

    If you haven’t healthcare paid by your employer you better not get ill…, and folk even don’t move jobs due to reduced/lack of insurance. Plus one of my collegues biggest worries was redundancy, not because he’d have to find another job but that his daughter had a health problem that wouldn’t be covered by a new insurance company.

    And fuel cost across the states really depends on where you are, plus sales taxes…

    bencooper
    Member

    My aunt worked for the same employer for more than 20 years, paying about 20% of her salary in health insurance all that time. Then she got problems with her knees. After a lot of arguing, the insurance company paid out.

    To do one knee.

    They had to remortgage their house to pay for the other knee.

    Premier Icon wwaswas
    Subscriber

    I do wonder if Americans get shown programs like A&E from channel 4.

    They see people rolling up with all sorts of issues, getting treated, staying in intensive care for days and wards for weeks and then interviewed afterwards.

    Do they have a voiceover saying “All of this treatment cost the patient nothing at the point of delivery”?

    b r
    Member

    Paid holiday though isn’t quite as bad as you first hear. As in the US you have Vacation plus Family Time, Public Holidays and another type – the guys I worked with in New York had about the same number of days (in total) as I did in the UK.

    Junkyard
    Member

    am I just being silly in even trying to compare our prices

    Yes somethings are cheaper somethings are dearer

    You have not factored in taxes or housing costs or healthcare or all the other stuff you would need if you actually lived there
    Most western democracies have very similar costs but we take far better care of our poor and shoot each other a lot less which I would pay a fair amount for personally.

    a Socialist system where you only got the basic of care and procedures”.

    Yes very time an american colleague asked me about our socialist health care i did not actually know what the hell they were talking about.

    It is bonkers that a country doe snot want to keep its citizens healthy and we pay a far lower % of GDP for the NHS than they do for healthcare.
    Bonkers moral compass decision IMHO

    munrobiker
    Member

    My wife’s American and when I go over there I know that we could have a better life over there. For the middle classes it’s easier- houses cost less, cars less, food less, fuel less (whether that’s a good thing or not is out for discussion). If you’re in a proper profession your employer includes health care as a benefit. Taxes are lower (VAT and income). If you pay your own health insurance you’d be on a par with what you pay over here, tax and NI wise.

    But if you’re poor out there, you’re really poor. Yes, you pay less for stuff, but you will make less than we do here, the benefit system is nowhere near as caring and you will lose things like health care, often leading to a downward spiral (I’m unwell, but can’t afford to get fixed, but now I’m so unwell I can’t work, so I have even less money). Pretty much no real state pension either. It’s a country of contrasts.

    socialist health care

    It’s also a country where they don’t really know what socialist means.

    Premier Icon GrahamS
    Subscriber

    As in the US you have Vacation plus Family Time

    We get (unpaid) “Family Time” in the UK too – four weeks a year for each child under 5.

    plyphon
    Member

    Thatcher’s starting to look a lot better after all, eh?

    *runs*

    Premier Icon molgrips
    Subscriber

    am I just being silly in even trying to compare our prices

    Yep.

    bencooper is spot on, plus a few other things

    – Wages are low in much of the country
    – Every day food is actually fairly expensive in supermarkets, in my experience of the Mid West.
    – Many drugs are expensive, but even paracetamol is about $5 for 60 tabs, whereas you can get 16 for 19p in my local Asda!
    – Petrol is cheap, yes, but it fluctuates far more than it does here. A few years ago when there was a rapid price hike we gained about 20p a litre, their price doubled. It was still cheap by our standards but when you’re on the breadline and your car is the only way you have to get to your three jobs, that’s a major issue.
    – New cars are cheap, but used ones are really expensive. You can’t pick up a decent runner for £500 like you can here. In Wisconsin there are no MOTs so the very cheapest cars on the market are absolute wrecks with gaping holes in body and chassis. You need to spend several thousand on a runnable car, and then it’s likely to be an American car that’s cheap to buy but expensive to repair*
    – re holidays, you can’t choose when the public holidays are. The people I know can only take one two week vacation a year, that’s it. Also, you only get one day off at Christmas, no new year, and if it falls on a weekend you don’t get it back on the Monday like we do. So two times out of seven you actually get nothing at all at Christmas.

    * My sister in law’s 4wd minivan, a Chrysler I think, needed new wheel bearings. Quote was several thousand dollars. Turns out the bearing surfaces were the driveshaft, so rather than a $20 bearing you needed a $300 driveshaft.

    Premier Icon zippykona
    Subscriber

    It always amazed me that petrol in Alice Springs was cheaper than here bearing in mind the tanker has to do a 2000 mile round trip.

    mrmoofo
    Member

    Britian isn’t a rip off. It may have seemed that way when the pound was overvalued against the euro.
    Retailing is extremely competitive – which will probably cost us “The High Steer” eventually. Whilst you may have contempt for Tesco / Sainsbury etc they do give the consumer great VFM. And also the share holder.
    The US is great if you a upper mamagement, white and educated. The “non working class” is a really grim existence.
    Around Euro , some things are cheaper, some things are more expensive. For some reason the germans pay huge amounts for shoes …. the swiss have to pay stupid prices for everything, but counteracted by the salaries / tax. But buy a map in CH and it feels like you are paying you first installment on a mortgage.

    Don’t just the cost on living on petrol and the cost of a pair of Timberlands

    Premier Icon binners
    Subscriber

    Yip! America looks great! Did anyone see the report Channel 4 news last night? Well worth giving it a viewing if you didn’t

    one in six Americans receive help with their grocery bills in the form of food stamps, funded by the federal government.

    While Dave, bless him, is doing his utmost to take this country to good ol USA standards of inequality and public poverty, he’s some way to go yet. Thankfully this country still seems to have a few people who recognise the difference between giving a **** about people, and communism

    More pricey petrol seems a small price to pay for living in a civilised country

    novaswift
    Member

    I know this may be old news but having recently been in USA on holiday I was amazed at the price differences for many items compared to home. From groceries to trainers,petrol at $3.60 per GALLON and eating out . I realise theres no NHS over there and theres add ons like toll roads but am I just being silly in even trying to compare our prices

    clubber
    Member

    I’ll just echo what’s been said. I work for a US company and have spent a fair bit of time over there and talking to Americans about this.

    Most really can’t get their heads around the NHS – they really just can’t believe that it’s free, especially given what they pay for healthcare even on company schemes, not to mention the extras – like childbirth for example. Even when you factor in tax (to pay for the NHS, etc), we seem to have it pretty good.

    The average total price charged for pregnancy and newborn care was about $30,000 for a vaginal delivery and $50,000 for a C-section, with commercial insurers paying out an average of $18,329 and $27,866.

    American women paid close to nothing just two decades ago. Today — even with coverage — women can expect to pay an average of $3,400 out of pocket.

    Yes, some things in shops seem very cheap (particularly many of the sort of things you actually buy as a tourist) but actual living expenses aren’t so great.

    The well off have a good standard of life and it is certainly tempting for me to consider moving there for a bit as we’d have a huge house and great standard of life but the poor or even just less well off really do struggle and have the constant worry about illness/injury/redundancy.

    Seriously, can you imagine if you got ill (and not even something unusual/critical – eg the knee example above)and then got told that you had a choice of selling your house to pay for it or just suffer?

    Our system might not be perfect in many ways but it’s so much better than in the US and IME even fairly right wing US people I’ve discussed with agree once they really understand what we get (rather than the scaremongered version of the NHS that’s touted over there whenever healthcare is discussed).

    cheekyboy
    Member

    ernie_lynch – Member

    Yes treatment offered by the NHS is free.

    Funded by ?

    Yes of course it’s funded.

    In the same way as free prescriptions, free eye tests, free school meals, free borrowing of library books, etc, are all funded.

    clubber
    Member

    General taxation. So it’s free for some and arguably not for others. You can get all mixed up in the semantics of it if you want.

    I’m one of the others but I’m ok with that if it means people all get cared for, for free, regardless of their circumstances and ability to pay.

    Junkyard
    Member

    why we all know the answer and we say free because you dont pay for it [ at the point of use or related to your use]like we say the roads are free and education is free and lots and lots of other stuff provided by tax.
    I think everyone realises it actually costs money to deliver it but they also realise they dont get charged when they access it

    bencooper
    Member

    Even for the “haves” it makes sense to give free healthcare to the “have nots” – far fewer unhealthy people about to infect you, for a start.

    Premier Icon kimbers
    Subscriber

    I worked for a summer at a camp for problem kids from inner city boston, even tho Mass has a relatively good social healthcare I was dismayed by the inadequacies of the healthcare these children had access too.
    The Charity that ran the camp had a nurse and it’s own medication so for the time they were there they could get stuff like ear infections and ringworm treated but more serious things including hepatitis we couldn’t treat

    My NI deductions seem remarkably good value

    the US govmnt pay twice the % of gdp we do for healthcare and they still have lower life expectancies

    I’m not sure if cost of medical insurance is included in that %age

    novaswift
    Member

    looks like health insurance is a massive chunk of someones salary in the US Do they have a system like Medicare in Australia where the patient pays the full price then claims approx 70% back? Hangs head in shame after basing things on the price of trainers and a packet of chicken fillets!!

    LHS
    Member

    Having spent the last 30 years living between the two countries I can categorically say that cost of living is definitly cheaper in the US as a whole. You do have to be very careful with comparing the US and the UK, and take more of an approach by comparing the US and Europe as the country is far bigger and varies vastly state to state.

    If you compare what you pay on income tax and NI in the UK to the cost of medical insurance in the US, for a lot of people its not that different, your money in the UK is just taken from you in a stealth fashion. Factor in that really you want to have private health insurance in the UK as well as free NHS then they certainly start evening out.

    Coal, Gas, Oil and hence petrol are all far cheaper, and as a knock on impact so are goods in general. One of the main comparisons is meals out in restaurants, people assume it is a lot cheaper in the US but if you factor in alcohol (which is more expensive) and 20% tips it works out about the same (the food is just way better!!)

    munrobiker
    Member

    (the food is just way better!!)

    I’m glad I’ve found someone who can agree with me on that- my parent’s didn’t think so but I love eating out in the US.

    On the other hand, they have crap cheese (which I love).

    mogrim
    Member

    your money in the UK is just taken from you in a stealth fashion.

    Not sure “stealth” means what you think it does…

    They burgle your home at night and steal out of your wallet.

    mogrim
    Member

    They burgle your home at night and steal out of your wallet.

    Gove, Gideon and Dave, eh?

    LHS
    Member

    one in six Americans receive help with their grocery bills in the form of food stamps, funded by the federal government.

    Welfare provision in the UK is such that:

    20.3 million families receiving some kind of benefit (64% of all families)

    9.6 million families, benefits make up more than half of their income (30% of all families)

    Haven’t they now brought in food stamps to replace some welfare payments, be interesting to see how this compares!

    LHS
    Member

    Stealth refers to the fact that for you don’t actually see what the cost of public services are at the point of use, i.e for the NHS. It is also interesting in the UK that for most items you don’t see the cost before and after sales tax is added, something that would be very enlightning to most.

    Premier Icon funkrodent
    Subscriber

    In the 90s I spent a couple of summers selling educational books door to door in rural Virginia. I had a cheap old Honda Prelude (loved that car, wrote it off in a river, but that’s another tale) that needed some work doing on the brakes, pulled into tiny garage a million miles from anywhere and was gobsmacked to be served by a very scouse mechanic. Turns out he hitched up with an American girl and moved across the pond. I asked him how he found ths states, his answer was “I’ve three kids, I work as a mechanic, my missus part-time in the local 7-11, I’ve a four bed detached house, half acre of land, swimming pool, two cars. What do you think?” True though, he’d come from small terrace in Kensington in Liverpool (polar opposite to Kensington in London). You couldn’t even begin to compare the standards of living between the two.
    Things may have changed in the meantime, but there’s no doubt that out of the big cities land and housing is very cheap and the dollar can go a long, long way

    Premier Icon binners
    Subscriber

    LHS – Like I said, I’m sure Dave and chums would happily have us at American levels of inequality. Thats certainly what they’re aiming for. Whether many people want to live in a society like that is another matter.

    I suspect that many of the rich, low taxation lot think it would be marvelous. Unfortunately, we’re not the USA. We’re a lot smaller island. So they’d have to live within the same geographical areas as frightful poor, desperate people.And they wouldn’t be allowed to shoot them

    Premier Icon tomhoward
    Subscriber

    Stealth refers to the fact that for you don’t actually see what the cost of public services are at the point of use, i.e for the NHS. It is also interesting in the UK that for most items you don’t see the cost before and after sales tax is added, something that would be very enlightning to most.

    So you dont know what stealth taxes are then?

    And we do know the cost of sales tax, its 20% and is included on all prices of applicable products, unless stated otherwise.

    LHS
    Member

    So they’d have to live within the same areas as frightful poor, desperate people and they wouldn’t be allowed to shoot them

    That would be a terrible drag. Good point.

    It is also interesting in the UK that for most items you don’t see the cost before and after sales tax is added, something that would be very enlightning to most.

    Hardly likely to be “very enlightning to most”. Most people are fully aware that VAT is set at 20%, without being reminded that it is every time they buy something.

    Premier Icon funkrodent
    Subscriber

    It is also interesting in the UK that for most items you don’t see the cost before and after sales tax is added, something that would be very enlightning to most

    Very true this. I remember being outraged (internally at least) when the product (chocolate bar or somesuch) that I was buying had 5% sales tax added at the till.

    That is until I realised that we pay 17.5% (or did!) it’s just already built in to the price.

    LHS
    Member

    And we do know the cost of sales tax, its 20% and is included on all prices of applicable products, unless stated otherwise.

    That’s the point, it’s included, you don’t see the price without sales tax, therefore you don’t truelly see the cost of the product versus the cost of the taxation.

    5thElefant
    Member

    It’s not just 20% vat.

    Corporation tax, import duty, business rates, income tax, ni, assorted HR & H&S legislation. It all gets put into the cost of sale.

    Premier Icon tomhoward
    Subscriber

    That’s the point, it’s included, you don’t see the price without sales tax, therefore you don’t truelly see the cost of the product versus the cost of the taxation

    Pretty sure I could work it out pretty quickly though…

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