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>> News > United Kingdom
Plumbers Fear that Expansion of EU may Harm Their Lifestyle - September 26th 2006

British plumbers have criticised plans to expand the EU claiming that the introduction of Bulgaria and Romania could mean they might have to start living the lifestyle of a plumber.

“It’s just not acceptable,” British plumber Keith Wilson explained, “5 years ago, because everyone was out learning IT and how to use a telephone there were next to no plumbers about – we could charge ten times what we used to and we still were overbooked. People didn’t care if we late or did a bodge repair, they were just grateful enough to find someone who claimed to be a plumber.”

According to Mr Wilson, his lifestyle quickly improved: he bought better clothes, sent his children to private school – he even bought some gold plated alloys for his plumber’s van.

Unfortunately, the good times did not last. In 2004 he was forced to sell his holiday home in the south of France and had to settle for a Porsche Boxster instead of a 911.

“The problem started when the EU expanded into Eastern Europe… suddenly all these foreign plumbers came over and started charging a reasonable rate and actually fixing the problems properly. This not only meant that there were more plumbers for people to choose between, but the fact they were fixing the problems properly meant it wasn’t likely to go wrong again!”

Polish plumber Piotr Nowak did not understand why the British plumbers were so outraged:

“This is crazy,” he said, “I’ve been able to come to England, work half as hard and still charge ten times what I would in Poland.

“Although I share their concerns about the expansion of the EU, the last thing I want to do is to have to start living the lifestyle of Polish plumber again.”

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