You don’t have it ALL your own way..

Over here in the UK we have this perception that everything here is much more expensive than in the US and we get paid about half of what everyone gets paid over there too, this has been confirmed by friends of mine and it’s hard not to think we are being shafted by big business, even the Apple iPad2, top of the range; $699 and you can be sure we will get charged £699 for the same item even though there is $1.50c to each pound, so instead of paying £442 we get to pay for even more of Steve Jobs cancer treatment thank you very much. (UK prices have just been released, instead of paying £442 we get to pay £659.00… explain that to me Steve Jobs..)

When I was working as a Nurse on ICU I was always reading about nurses in NYC getting paid exactly twice of what I was getting paid and the temptation was to ditch the NHS and go get a living wage instead of the peanuts I was getting doing nightshifts, weekends and even working Xmas day in London.

However, it’s not all a one-way street. Thanks to the law of supply and demand it seems not everything here is 50% more expensive than in the States and I was talking to a friend across the pond recently and some of these figures may make you envious.

I pay £10 a month for unlimited txt/data and 1,000 minutes across all networks. When I talk to a friend mobile to mobile it uses up my minutes, not theirs as well…there is zero cost for receiving in this country. I have a rolling one month contract and can cancel virtually anytime.Occasionally I cancel it so the Retention Dept will call me back and offer me an even better deal. Verizon and AT&T, you’re having a laff, aren’t you? We have the Competition Commission with the power to cap prices and stop price fixing between companies.. Why on earth are American cell systems so horrendously expensive and lock you in for years and give you so much grief and where are all the massive profits going, T Mobile here isn’t any more super efficient than it’s US cousin and yet makes a tidy profit here too.  Go figure.

I pay £15 a month for unlimited Internet.

Our version of Cable – no ad’s, £12 a month.

My car insurance for a Jeep Grand Cherokee is £400 a year, that’s a year, not a month. Fully comprehensive.

Breakdown cover to the AA, £15 a month.

Life insurance pays out some stupid sum if I get hit by a falling piano, £39 per month.

My home contents insurance ‘New for Old’ is £23 a month.

My Council Tax (bin men, street cleaning, policing ) £50 month.

Gas and electricity, paid monthly, £25 per month.

We don’t have City tax, local tax, we don’t automatically add ?15% to every price, the price you see is the price you pay. Simpler.

We don’t have medical Insurance, we have the NHS, no-one has ever been asked for insurance details as they exsanguinate on the A&E (ER) floor.

One CAN buy private medical insurance but it’s not common and if you were going to have a major op you’d want to have it done by experienced teams in a huge teaching hospital, not in some small private hospital by someone who views you as paying for his next holiday in the Bahamas.

Pet Insurance, a friend pays £8 a month for her cat and has never paid a penny to her vet despite being there every other week it seems.

Here in South London I can feed four adults a huge effing Indian slap up meal for less than 50 quid – and get Red Eye next morning into the bargain for free.

And generally our policemen don’t carry guns.

However, all that good grace and favour is throw away because petrol over here costs £1.26p a litre – which for the mathematically challenged (and allowing for US gallons rather than UK gallons and exchange rate) is equal to $7.21c a gallon. I’m NOT entire sure but if Americans had to pay over seven bucks for a gallon of gasoline then the government would be out on it’s arse before the end of the day. However BP needs to make it’s BILLIONS of pounds profit somehow…eh?