I was surprised to find that bridging neutral and ground in a socket at home tripped the RCD. Measuring with a multimeter, there is indeed 0.1 V between them. If the RCD trips at 30mA that would mean that the wiring in the house must have resistance lower than 3 ohms. (Sounds likely if household wiring is around 0.01 ohm/meter.) So the questions are:
1) why is there a p.d. at all?
2) isn't it a problem for doing electrical work, since switching off the circuit breaker for the ring only disconnects the live wire, meaning the RCD can still trip the whole house if the neutral and ground wires touch?
EDIT: since there are different earthing standard apparently, this question relates to the UK and to a normal urban setup (2-wire 1-phase mains). Also, the live wire is disconnected on the ring. I think the RCD trips because the (small) potential difference between the neutral and earth creates a small but big enough current through the neutral wire, which is not balanced by current in the live wire.