It’s that time of year again. No, not summer (have you looked outside today? Blech), but the annual We Live In A Damned Expensive City survey that makes us all feel like flinging the two pennies we have to rub together out the window of our high-rise shoebox flats. This is otherwise known as the Mercer Human Resource Consulting’s 2007 Cost of Living study.
The bad news is that London has risen from the fifth costliest city to live in to the second, after Moscow. The good news is that the story seems to have been a bit misconstrued by the mainstream media, overlooking the fact that this study was done based on an expatriate’s cost of living, not a native or permanent resident. So when it says that the average rent of a flat in London is £2000 per month, it’s a pretty safe bet to assume that the majority of these are luxury apartments in Mayfair and Kensington (incidentally, the most expensive place to buy in Britain) where corporations house their staff when relocating them from abroad for a London-based job. They’re not exactly going to send a shiny guy named Chad from L.A. or a Saudi sheikh to an ex-council flat above a kebab shop in Hackney, are they?
More disturbing than the cost of accommodation is the price of travel and food. A burger meal will set you back £3.89, even one served in a dodgy pub that’s undoubtedly been in a freezer for months and topped with cheese produced when Enders was still a quality soap. If you wanted to go for something a little more upscale you could try this £85 sandwich but you’ll need that money to top up your Oyster card for a day’s travel.
Transport costs are, of course, ridiculous, and easily the most expensive in the world at £3 per ticket. The next nearest city in the survey, Copenhagen, comes in at only £1.78 per journey. Not only do they have liberal sex and drug laws and delicious bacon, they can get from A to B and back for the price of a Sunday newspaper. Bastards.
Photo courtesy of atomicity's photostream