In his 2015 budget, George Osborne stated “I present the Budget of an economy stronger in every way from the one we inherited”. But is Britain better off?
After Five Years Presiding Over The Economy, Here Are Three Innovative Measures To Check Whether Britain Really Is Doing As Well As George Suggests
“Britain Is Walking Tall Again” Says The Chancellor
That’s another Budget quote from Gorgeous George, as is this one: “The sun is starting to shine – and we are fixing the roof".
Are these comments mere political spin, or is there some substance behind the claims?
1. Luxury Toilet Roll Sales Are Up!
According to Waitrose, sales of luxury toilet rolls are increasing 12 per cent year on year. Believe it or not, economists have started using luxury toilet paper as a barometer for economic recovery.
A report by market intelligence firm Euromonitor International found Britian stands out among the European countries, as only 5.3 per cent of £1.9 billion toilet paper sales were made up from the cheaper brands.
In its report, Euromonitor analysts wrote: “Higher growth is expected out of the luxury segment as the improved economy allows consumers to satisfy their desire for comfort.”
If spending on products for short-term use is crucial in revealing how confident a country's population is in its own economic prospects, luxury loo paper sales suggest the recession is well and truly over.
2. The Happy Planet Index
The Happy Planet Index is a measure of progress that’s focused on what matters: sustainable well-being for all. It reveals how well nations are doing in terms of supporting their inhabitants to live good lives now, while ensuring that others can do the same in the future.
According to the latest Happy Planet Index figures, Britain comes in 41st place of all the countries measured. For the second time running, Costa Rica tops the Happy Planet Index.
Whilst Britain has a higher index than most of the other first world countries, not surprisingly, it doesn’t fair well compared to many Caribbean countries and other island paradises. It's no real surprise that people are pretty happy living there!
Looking at life expectancy on its own, Britain comes in 20th, with an average age of 80.2 years. That’s a relevant number when it comes to your SIPP, for if you pull out your pension fund too early, you might find you’re rather short of cash in later life. And that won’t make you very happy at all!
3. How Many Millionaires Live In Britain?
Below is an infographic which breaks down the top cities in the world for millionaires, sorted by density and total population.
London comes out top of the shop with 339,000 millionaires (albeit measured in $US). So despite the rhetoric, it seems that Britain is definitely doing better, and George Osborne has a point!
If you're interested in a little more detail about the world's ultra-high net worth individuals, here's another infographic.
Infographics courtesy of Visual Capitalist.
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