Sunday, January 09, 2005


People have asked me, "Are things expensive in England?"

I suppose the answer is both "yes" and "no."

For someone living here, and earning their money in pounds, most things (outside of London, anyway) seem reasonably priced. A daily newspaper is about £0.50. A meal at McDonald's might be between £3 and £4. A Diet Coke form the machine at school is £0.60.

The problem happens when you convert your dollars to pounds. Since you need about two dollars to get one pound, things are about twice as expensive here as in America. But that's probably more a function of the exchange rate than anything else.

One nice thing about England prices, however, is that they are almost always listed with the taxes already included. Which is nice, since the current VAT (Value Added Tax) rate is 17.5%. But, as it's included in the price, the amount on the tag is the amount you pay.

Wouldn't it make more sense if we did that in the U.S.?


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