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Long hours, small houses and more debt for British

British people work longer hours, live in smaller houses and accumulate more mortgage debt than their European counterparts, according to research MarketPlace at Bradford & Bingley.

The MarketPlace&#39s European Personal Finance Report published this month focuses on work, earnings and income, homes, spending, saving and financial services and household wealth.

It reveals Britons are the hardest-working nation, with each household spending an average of 2,296 hours at work, a third longer than French families who work 1,737 hours.

British families have the smallest homes with the average dwelling only being 76 square metres while the Italians have the most space, living in houses with an average of 92 square metres.

But Britain has the highest mortgage debt per household, accumulating around £53,950 compared with the next highest, Germany, at £47,382.

Britons try to invest more for the future, with 75 per cent of the workforce having occupational pensions, compared with 46 per cent in Germany, 15 per cent in Spain, 10 per cent in France and 5 per cent in Italy.

The MarketPlace commercial director Ian Darby says: “I am sad to say that every hour of work in Britain brings lower rewards than in France, Germany, Spain or Italy. This fact, along with many others in our survey reveals we truly are the underdogs in getting value for money. By investigating the after tax income and costs of living across the major economies of Europe we hope to show that it really is imperative that UK consumers seek independent financial advice to make their hard-earned income go further.”

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