A few years ago Britain’s standard of living used to be the highest in the Europe Union (save for Luxembourg, which is, anyway, a bit of a statistical anomaly). Today it has dropped down beneath Germany and Austria, and looks likely to continue falling.
Eurostat measures something called Actual Individual Consumption – a calculation of how much people spend on goods and services. As you can see from the table, Britain’s AIC is 18% above the EU average. But it was 21% above it in 2009, and is on a downward trajectory while many other EU states are now on the up.
According to the ONS, AIC is often used as a measure of households’ standard of living as it incorporates all goods and services that a household consumes, including benefits in kind such as health and education.