Discontent about the government’s economic policies continues to fuel a desire to leave Britain for just under half the UK’s millionaires, according to latest research by investment specialist Skandia.
Millionaires’ confidence in the coalition government’s economic policies is falling as their finances suffer. A third (34%) has seen finances shrink over the past 12 months and a quarter (24%) predict they will continue to lose out over the next 12 months. This has led to a drop in the number that say they have confidence in the government’s economic policies, falling to less than half (49%) compared to over half (55%) when the first survey was run in June 2011.
A better standard of living abroad (20%), increasing cost of living (11%) and high taxation in the UK (10%) are among the main factors prompting them to consider selling up, along with a wish to escape the British weather (21%).
The findings reflect a similar picture that emerged in the first Skandia Millionaire Monitor survey conducted last year (June 2011). Then just over half (56%) the millionaires polled said they would consider leaving Britain. Although the percentage has dropped back to under half (45%), it appears the increasing squeeze on this group’s wealth is encouraging a significant number of them to think about moving away.
Countries that are finding favour as alternative places to live include the USA (17%), Spain (14%), Australia (12%) and France (10%).
Graham Bentley, Skandia UK’s head of investment strategy comments:
“Economic policies that attack the UK’s higher earners echo those of the Labour government of the late 1970s, and are fuelling their discontent about living in Britain.
“Unless this Government is completely comfortable with a ‘wealth-drain’ from the UK it should show courage: abolish the 50p spite-tax, incentivise savings by maintaining pension tax-relief and removing irrational barriers between different tax-efficient products like pensions and ISAs; scrap the unnecessarily punitive lifetime allowance on pensions, and provide greater access to pension savings in order to fund vital needs-based requirements such as long-term care, thus reducing reliance on the state.
“The largely symbolic attacks on higher earners have little economic benefit, and simply serve to persuade these otherwise important contributors to Treasury coffers to depart for friendlier tax-regimes. 40% of a great deal is better than 50% of nothing.”