Tuesday, April 17, 2012

A rich exodus: Thousands of more affluent Britons expected to leave in next two years over fears about high crime and taxes

And that is setting the mark for being rich quite low.  You could spend all of £250,000  just buying a house in a middle-income suburb in Australia.  Escaping the mess that Britain is in would be worth it though.  It's one of the few countries where the average person gets poorer every year

More than half a million wealthy Britons are expected to move abroad in the next two years amid concerns about crumbling road and rail networks, crime and high taxes, a survey reveals today.

Some 19 per cent of people with savings and investments worth more than £250,000 are considering a new life overseas, which is up from 17 per cent six months ago and 14 per cent a year ago.

The figures suggest that at least 500,000 people with that level of personal wealth may leave the UK in the next two years.

Investing in improving the infrastructure, such as roads, railways and communications networks, is seen as the most important way to make the UK a more attractive place to live, with 61 per cent of wealthy people choosing this option.  But cutting regulatory red tape for businesses, lowering taxes and improving public services such as healthcare, education and the police were all high on the agenda.

Nicholas Boys-Smith, director at Lloyds TSB International Wealth, which carried out the survey, said: ‘While the figures strongly suggest we won’t see a mass exodus, it is clear that a significant and growing minority see opportunity and a better quality of life overseas.’

Crime and anti-social behaviour is the most popular reason for people to contemplate leaving the UK, chosen by 56 per cent.

While the figures do reveal that a minority of wealthy people are discontent about life in the UK, a majority of 62% said they are currently happy with the UK as a place to live.

Some 42% of wealthy Britons think the UK offers a worse quality of life than other developed countries, while 41% think life in Britain is generally more stressful than life overseas.


Revealed: How HALF of all social housing in parts of England goes to people born abroad

British taxpayers should get priority in the social housing queue over new migrants, David Cameron’s poverty tsar has said.  Frank Field called for the shake-up after a study revealed up to half of all social housing lets are given to those born abroad.

At the same time, nearly five million families are languishing on waiting lists for subsidised housing in England.

According to figures from the Department for Communities and Local Government, in 2010/11 8.6 per cent of new social housing tenants were foreign.  But in London – where the waiting list has soared by 60 per cent  to 362,000 in the past decade – up to half of such housing was handed over to immigrants.

In Haringey, North London, 43 per cent of new social housing tenants were foreign while in Ealing, West London, the figure was 45 per cent.

Although some boroughs did not record tenants’ nationality, making it impossible to scrutinise who is at the top of the queue, on average 11 per cent of new social housing lets in London went to foreigners.

Mr Field, former Labour welfare reform minister, described the trend as a ‘scandal’ that ‘must stop’.  ‘For years we have been told that British people on the waiting list for social housing are getting a fair deal,’ Mr Field said.  ‘Yet, when the situation in London is examined, we find that, in reality, nobody has any idea how many new lets are going to foreign nationals and how many to British citizens.’

‘This scandal must stop. I have a bill before parliament that will ensure that those citizens who have made most contribution to society, who have paid their taxes and whose children have not caused trouble, for example, will have first choice of any housing available.  ‘This would be a major change in our welfare state whereby benefits have to be earned rather than automatically allocated on need.’

Sir Andrew Green, Chairman of Migration Watch said, ‘The present situation is a scandal. The records are in chaos. British people who have lived in the area for many years are given little or no priority.’  ‘What is clear is that the proportion of new lets going to foreign nationals in London is far higher than has previously been admitted.’

He added that only British citizens - including those who were foreign born but had taken up citizenship - should be considered for social housing.

He added: ‘Foreign nationals would still get housing allowance but not social housing; there is no reason why they should be entitled to subsidised housing provided by British taxpayers while British citizens spend years in the queue.’


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