A quarter of Brits think they can't afford a dignified existence, while one fifth regularly can't pay bills - although it's better than France

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Perceptions of dignity vary across the European Union (Source: Getty)

More than a quarter of Britons say that they “do not have enough money for a dignified existence” - although this was less than France, where 46 per cent of citizens thought they needed more for their dignity, a new survey says.

A fifth of UK residents said that they are sometimes unable to pay their debts on time (compared to 28 per cent in France).

While 27 per cent of UK residents said they didn’t have enough money, that was slightly below the average across the whole of the European Union of 29 per cent. Only 23 per cent of UK respondents thought that the economy is improving, according to the survey by Intrum Justitia, a Swedish debt management agency

Greece topped the charts of citizens who feel that they lack the money for dignity, at 53 per cent.

In Greece 76 per cent of people had missed the payment deadline on a debt, compared with 22 per cent in the UK. Greece has been hit by a massive rise in unemployment since the financial crisis in 2008, to highs of over 27 per cent.

The poll found that people in Denmark were the most satisfied of Europeans about their financial situation, with only 18 per cent thinking they lacked the money for a dignified life.

The survey also found that the UK is the favourite destination for young Europeans who wish to leave their home country, despite the vote to leave the European Union. The UK’s GDP growth has outperformed the broader EU significantly since the financial crisis.

“The results show that a substantial part of all households struggle, and that many have been forced to borrow money to pay bills. Our own data also indicates that people who take on debt early in life tend to remain indebted as they grow older,” said Mikael Ericson, chief executive of Intrum Justitia.

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