Australia is top of the relocation wish list followed by the US, Canada and New Zealand. The cost of living, weather, unemployment and crime are the most common reasons for wanting to quit Britain. Pollsters YouGov quizzed 1,650 adults after The Sun told last week about Dave and Jackie Jones who emigrated to Australia with their 12 kids.
The family from Barrow-in-Furness, Cumbria — who have never claimed benefits — quit in despair at what they see as soft-touch Britain’s emphasis on state handouts instead of opportunities. Dave, 42, said: “I have to do the best for my kids and I feel the opportunities I want for them will not be in the UK.”
Our poll found that most Britons agree. Three in five think quality of life will be worse for their kids than it has been for them. Just 13 per cent think their children will have it better. Six per cent of those polled are actively making plans to leave, and 42 per cent say they will seriously consider it. The cost of living was named by 52 per cent as a good reason for leaving.
The weather scored 37 per cent, job availability 31 per cent and crime 27 per cent. Britain’s countryside would be missed by 25 per cent, the NHS by 19 per cent and TV by ten per cent. Nothing else about life here rated double figures. Standards of education, pollution and the environment were listed as good reasons for moving abroad.
And incredibly, 11 per cent of those quizzed even listed “British people” as their motivation to go. Only 11 per cent of us said there was nothing that could make them want to leave the UK. The survey also shows a shift in attitudes to emigration. While half of us today would consider leaving our home nation, only 20 per cent say their parents, grandparents or great-grandparents moved to Britain from overseas.
When asked under what circumstances people should be allowed to move to Britain, 50 per cent say people should sometimes be allowed to come here to find work. But 38 per cent said this should never be allowed. Most agreed that people should be able to come to Britain to study at a university. The poll also found that most important aspects of life in Britain have worsened over the last 20 years. Manners and politeness were mentioned by 83 per cent, the economy by 81 per cent, crime 68 per cent and education 55 per cent. YouGov asked whether the last five PMs going back to Margaret Thatcher had made the country better or worse. All were deemed to have done more damage than good — with Gordon Brown and David Cameron doing especially badly.
The Sun told how hard-working Dave Jones — who earned £38,000-a-year doing night shifts at a paper mill — and Jackie, 43, left the country with their brood last Saturday. They will be staying with friends until Dave finds a job and a house big enough for them all. Dave paid £8,000 to fly the children — aged from four months to 18 - to Brisbane. He said: “It is a happy time because it is a new life and a new opportunity for all of us.”
By CHARLOTTE WARD, Who moved to Australia
I LEFT London in September last year, moving to Sydney for a life overhaul. My job as a freelance writer had become harder over the previous months. The weather and lifestyle in Australia seemed better and I was sure I’d find new opportunities. A month before I jetted off, the riots broke out. It was depressing. Friends started to come out the woodwork, saying they wished they were going.
Six months on, it seems to have been the right choice. I’m getting regular work and other expats have similar stories. The only downfall is that Australia is extremely expensive with extortionate prices being charged in Sydney for retail goods, food and rent. But it’s a short bus ride into the bustle of city life and I can also step out my front door and be on the beach in five minutes. It beats the drudgery of the Tube.
YOUGOV quizzed 1,650 adults on April 12-13. Numbers do not always add up to exactly 100 per cent because of rounding or because multiple answers were allowed for some questions.
"seriously considering" - how many of them will actually go through with it? But 52% state its the "cost of living" thats the main reason behind it...
This post has been edited by Dave Beans: 15 April 2012 - 04:26 PM