23 September 2010

Index finds Britons want to escape “broken Britain” and emigrate to Australia and overseas

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An index by uSwitch.com found that the UK and Ireland are the worst places to live in Europe for quality of life.

Emigrate to Australia

An index has found the UK to be on the worst places in Europe for quality of life, which is prompting Britons to think about emigrating to places like Australia.

Fewer holidays, longer working lives, bad weather, and expensive petrol, alcohol and electricity has made life in the UK one of the worst in Europe, with only Ireland worse off.

Ann Robinson, director of consumer policy at uSwitch.com, said: “Last year, compared with our European neighbours we were miserable but rich, this year we’re miserable and poor.

“In fact we work harder, take fewer holidays and retire later than most of our European counterparts, but the high cost of living makes this a necessity rather than a choice.”

Ms Robinson said it was a combination of these factors that had led three in ten Britons to believe that now would be a good time to emigrate.

Australia has always been a major migration destination for Britons, with 1.04 million UK-born people living in Australia. In 2008/2009, 31,882 UK-born people were recorded as emigrating to Australia, with Western Australia the most popular destination, accounting for around 27 per cent of these new migrants.

The index published today by uSwitch.com evaluates quality of life based on 16 factors. Variables such as net income, VAT and the cost of essentials such as fuel, food and energy bills, were examined along with lifestyle factors, including hours of sunshine, holiday entitlement, working hours and life expectancy.

Compilers of the index cite high living costs, below-average Government spending on health and education, shorter holidays and late retirement for keeping the UK at the bottom of its list.


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