The Streets of London are not Necessarily Paved with Gold

This video is a British culture lesson about London and a few misconceptions about it. A misconception is when a lot of people have the wrong idea about something. The main misconception I talk about is the belief that “all British people are rich.” Although in British culture, and especially in the centre of London, there are a lot of rich people, most people in London live well but are definitely not rich. People visit London in a certain way- they see the luxury shops and they see expensive cars because they go to tourist destinations in the centre of town. The poorer parts of town lie on the outside of the city, like Paris.

There is a legal minimum wage in the UK. The lowest amount someone can be paid is £6.08 per hour. The government is very strict about this and a business can get into a lot of trouble for paying any less. In many countries, this is a lot of money. In the UK, however, and especially in London, this is very little money and can buy you very little as everything is so expensive.

The average salary in the UK is £24,000 a year (a salary is the amount of money you earn over a period of time in exchange for working). From that £24,000 pounds you have to pay £7,000 in tax. Tax is money you have to pay to the government- the government then uses that money to give you services like hospitals and road works.

After you have paid tax you are left with £17,000. Now let us say you want to rent a small house that is about one hour on the bus from the centre of London. That will cost you around £8,400 a year. So then you are left with £8,600 of your original salary.

Londoners spend £3,156 a year on average taking the bus and train to work. Gas and electricity costs around £1,488 a year.  Food costs average at around £530 a year. Water costs on average £376 a year. Internet costs £204 a year. Mobile phone costs around £180 a year. After all these charges we are left with £2,666 pounds left of our original salary.

So after a salary of £24,000 we are left with £2,666, which is a big jump. The important thing to remember is that most Londoners earn a lot less than £24,000. £16,000 is a more common wage. So the idea that all Londoners are rich is a misconception because living is very expensive here and there is very little money left over. Conclusion: not everyone is London is rich.
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