sick of this country, what countries provide a better life for people that live there

(309 Posts)
redbobblehat Sat 02-Feb-13 13:55:21

i'm sick of all these cuts backs, and lies from the goverment

so sick of it i'm actually thinking for the first time, i might perher to bugger off and live elsewhere

dh thinks dubai would be a good bet, but i think as a married woman, it's wouldnt be my first choice

so where would be a good bet

photographerlady Sat 02-Feb-13 13:59:01

Dubai treats its ppl like crap unless you are a business investors. How strong is your blind eye to people starving to death in the street?

redlac Sat 02-Feb-13 14:02:07

Hang off a couple of years then move to an independent Scotland!! At least you'll be able to speak the language (kind off)

herladyship Sat 02-Feb-13 14:03:59

I'm not sure your reasons for leaving are sound.. Surely 'lying' politicians are an international phenomena? And some things that are being 'cut back' such as welfare/NHS don't exist in other countries hmm

The grass is not always greener! My sister emigrated to Australia & is very happy there but it's not perfect. You have to be realistic & go into it with eyes open

herladyship Sat 02-Feb-13 14:04:36

I do like the Scotland idea though grin

Juanca Sat 02-Feb-13 14:04:52

Yeah cos no other government in the world lies to its people! You're dreaming if you think life is better somewhere else.

And why is Dubai so bad for a married woman? Unless you're intending to have sex in a public place you should be ok.

Roseformeplease Sat 02-Feb-13 14:04:57

Dubai great if you are an UAE citizen. They are paid more highly and virtually insackable. Terrible for others. No job security, rents and costs very high. The only cheap thing is petrol and the place is one huge motorway with high rises on each side. It is really, really hot. There are labour camps full of Indian and other Asian workers who work punishingly long hours for very low wages and in appalling conditions. There are low / no taxes because there is no welfare state, no pensions, no job security. The rich are very, very rich indeed and no one else matters. The legal system is questionable and you can go to jail for being in debt.

Not Dubai.

Branleuse Sat 02-Feb-13 14:05:17

nowhere automatically provides a good life.

wouldnt mind moving somewhere less blatantly corrupt though. especially if it was a bit sunnier to boot

nokidshere Sat 02-Feb-13 14:05:44

I agree with herladyship

Every country has their problems some not as bad as ours but lots a hundred times worse. YABU if you think you can go and live in idyllic harmony in another country that has no problems at all.

Pandemoniaa Sat 02-Feb-13 14:06:26

Dubai? Would you be happier living in a country which encourages slave labour then? I wouldn't even visit the place let alone live there. DSS had a 3-month contract out in Dubai and was horrified at the routinely cruel treatment meted out to its people and migrant workers.

Jinsei Sat 02-Feb-13 14:06:29

I have lived in several countries. All have their pros and cons. There were things I missed about the UK when overseas, and now I'm back, there are things I miss about the other places. There is no perfect place to live though the place I lived last was about as close to perfect as you can get.

andubelievedthat Sat 02-Feb-13 14:08:30

i will gladly swop places with you !(me, currently in Scotland) independent Scotland? oh yeah, we will all live high on the hog with ALL that oil revenue!( in the Scottish nationalist party"s fucking dreams) Germany? fit country , work hard ,play hard,very socialist ,well thought off as a worker ,great health system ( i lived there)would go back tomorrow if poss.but, it is my intention to return to live in England asap (the lord"s country!)

Pandemoniaa Sat 02-Feb-13 14:09:05

You also need to ask yourselves what you can contribute to another country. Increasingly, there are strict controls on immigration and unless you meet the skill set required, you won't get in. You could, of course, resettle in the EU but you won't get far without knowing the language of whatever country (other than Ireland of course) you consider moving to.

redlac Sat 02-Feb-13 14:10:49

I'm under no illusions about the oil money but at least we won't have the Tories

Booyhoo Sat 02-Feb-13 14:15:37

unless you are very wealthy, i'd say the UK is your safest bet tbh.

Mydelilah Sat 02-Feb-13 14:20:23

At least you wouldn't have corrupt politicians in Dubai - it's a dictatorship so no politicians, only ruling families. If you think you'd prefer that? wink The corruption is still there in spades though. I lived there for some time. Give me democracy and a country where people are treated if they are sick, fed and housed if they do not have the means. It is much more humane here.

theodorakisses Sat 02-Feb-13 14:21:04

Dubai has people starving on the streets? what utter bollocks. the ME isn't for you for sure if you are not going be able to experience inequality of wealth. for us, it has offered us a chance to live well, have decent healthcare and education and change the lives of people from developing countries. I love oil money, been accepting it for years and, believe me, you will see far worse shit in Nigeria, Kenya, Bangladesh to name a few of the places we have lived. But MN isn't really the forum for this discussion, the champagne socialists will always argue how unworthy it is although i wonder how many children get schooled at their expense?

theodorakisses Sat 02-Feb-13 14:22:21

I would rather remove my toenails with a rusty blade than live in the UK again, it is the least civilised nation I have experienced.

theodorakisses Sat 02-Feb-13 14:24:45

As a married women? Why? If only the leather faced Gucci bearing, maid slapping Brit expat women were nicer, it wouldn't have such a terrible reputation.

theodorakisses Sat 02-Feb-13 14:27:56

And most of the Bengali and Sri Lankan people I know have an "illegal" relative working in a UK hotel or burger bar. they rake it in and send it home. No NHS or rights...yeah, great.

thegreylady Sat 02-Feb-13 14:27:57

Bye bye

theodorakisses Sat 02-Feb-13 14:33:14

Love the intelligent discussions of MN.

Labootin Sat 02-Feb-13 14:33:44

I am laughing at people starving on the streets of Dubai.

no really .. I'm a leather faced Gucci bearing maid slapping Brit expat... That's. What We Do.

OP you sound incredibly naive TBH.

Hattifattner Sat 02-Feb-13 14:33:58

Cuts are so noticeable because so many people rely on benefits to get by.

The difference between us and other countries is that we HAVE benefits and a health service, we have a way to survive when things get tough.

In other countries, there is no provision for public health and welfare. Ive lived in AFrica, in USA, UK, parts of europe - you either pay shit loads in tax, or you do it all yourself and hope that your medical aid will cover you for your illness and that you wont lose your job and therefore your home in a downturn.

Scandanavian countries seem to have great public services like education and health, but their taxes are huge.

You cannot have it all I'm afraid - every country in the world is cutting back at the moment, but at least ours offers a safety net of sorts - maybe not as much as we would like, but at least people are housed and fed, be it everso humbly. Education is free. Medical care is free. You will be taken care of in your old age. This doesnt happen in most countries in the world.

Bobbybird40 Sat 02-Feb-13 14:34:54

I don't see your problem with the UK OP, just because its piss cold all the time, everything is majorly overcrowded on a weekend, houses are way over-priced, there are too many cars on the road, we get taxed to fuckery on fags, our politicians are spineless and the baby boomers have fucked the economy up but pulled the ladders up after themselves with their big fat pensions...what's not to like?

redbobblehat Sat 02-Feb-13 14:35:22

oh no i've already ruled out dubai,, as i wouldnt feel safe there and i hear that if you get divorced the men get to keep the dc and woman are prtty much second class citizens

redbobblehat Sat 02-Feb-13 14:36:12

i certainly do think theres anywhere where politians do not lie, but i think ther must be other places where things are better than they are here

stargirl1701 Sat 02-Feb-13 14:38:59

Sweden? Eye watering taxes though

theodorakisses Sat 02-Feb-13 14:40:24

I am also an ME expat, just saying that there are some monsters out there and they are often British. In reality, most of us are normal decent people seeking a better life and treating people with a lot more care than when we lived in the Uk and ignored problems. I spend a lot of time volunteering with the Filipina group, providing clothes and school equipment to send to an ACTUAL corrupt and dangerous country. I work with people of all nationalities and know where countries are on a map and know, from the people who come from there what it is like. The only reason the champagne socialists don't diss the realy shitty, caste or rascist nations where people actually DO starve to death is because they are filthy poor piss holes that an expat would never deign to visit except on a Sandals holiday. FFs, corrupt government? Ever had to bribe a policeman to get medicine for your child? ever been held at gunpoint trying to buy food? No idea.

Bobbybird40 Sat 02-Feb-13 14:40:30

Short days in Sweden. Hi suicide rate.

ivykaty44 Sat 02-Feb-13 14:40:42

what about Japan?

theodorakisses Sat 02-Feb-13 14:41:59

Red, there are international laws in place where both parents have to get a UK family court ruling to decide if they (the kids) can enter the country. However, if you marry a local, you may find it to be different. In most cases, why would you do that?

theodorakisses Sat 02-Feb-13 14:43:10

Singapore or Malaysia but they are desperately boring and miles away.

GrendelsMum Sat 02-Feb-13 14:43:30

Would it be limited by where you can both find jobs? If so, maybe you should start looking at the countries your skills are in potential demand, or where you can arrange job transfers? Or perhaps you could agree to move to Dubai for a certain time period and then re-consider?

Mosman Sat 02-Feb-13 14:44:57

Japan is very expensive I believe

theodorakisses Sat 02-Feb-13 14:45:23

I am a highish level boss. My boss is a woman, her boss is a woman and then above her the MD is a man. yes, we feel extremely second class. It is pathetic ignorance like that that makes the UK such an arrogant, smug and sad place.

redbobblehat Sat 02-Feb-13 14:46:17

suppose i was thinking a bit closer to home, france or germany but i don't know alot about how things really are there.
somewhere a bit warmer would be nice

i wouldnt really fancy japan to live for some reason, perhaps too much of a culture shock for us

oz sounds very appealing

ItsOkayItsJustMyBreath Sat 02-Feb-13 14:47:58

Jinsei, where was the last place you lived? <curious nosy>

redbobblehat Sat 02-Feb-13 14:48:33

we have seen many job adverts in one of dhs journals advertising very well paid job in his area of work, last one he showed me was 120k per year

theodorakisses Sat 02-Feb-13 14:48:50

Australia was a tedious posting, lots of racists and spiders. Just my opinion.

ivykaty44 Sat 02-Feb-13 14:49:00

Mosman - yes Japan is more expensive - though not that much more than the uk now - but they don't have the cuts. Op wants somewhere to live without cuts, so that may well mean more expense

Gauri Sat 02-Feb-13 14:49:33

Switzerland. My perfect place. The land of beauty, banking and cuckoo clocks! wink

No where is perfect op. you have to vote out the idiots that run the UK.

Booyhoo Sat 02-Feb-13 14:50:24

thedorakisses are you the poster who was on here a while back claiming to be high up in one of the big oil companies?

ivykaty44 Sat 02-Feb-13 14:50:24

Oz is coming up for a general election in the autumn and so you may be face with another Tory gov - so that not a good place to go.

redbobblehat Sat 02-Feb-13 14:50:32

theo, i'm the first to admit i don't really know what its actually like to live anywher other than the uk, i've only been to dubai on holiday so its totally different

i only really know the rest from what i read.
i thought i read nt long ago woman can still be stoned there, so ive no idea if its true or not

redbobblehat Sat 02-Feb-13 14:52:36

switerland sounds appealing

skiing in winter beautiful courtyside in summer

yes i like the thpught of that

NonnoMum Sat 02-Feb-13 14:52:59

Interesting thread.

Could people give names of countries and pros and cons?

i.e Germany - very cultured, well-educated, efficient (obvs??) but language difficulties

- some of the Caribbean islands - expensive, very pleasant (could give more details), dodgy areas.

mercibucket Sat 02-Feb-13 14:53:38

what are your jobs and skills and what do you like in life?

tbh i'd leave if it weren't for the kids, but it's not for us right now.

ILoveTIFFANY Sat 02-Feb-13 14:54:52

Op it's all ' I thought I read' or ' I heard'.... Why don't you look into it yourself?

And what kind of job/work do you do?

JustGiveMeFiveMinutes Sat 02-Feb-13 14:55:22

I thought the UN had severely critisised the UAE for it's poor record on worker's rights? There was talk of sub-human working conditions, poor pay, non-existent holidays and confiscated passports. Basically the allegation was that Dubai was built on the back of slave labour. Is that not true?

Charliefox Sat 02-Feb-13 14:55:58

Isle of man. Low taxes and you can see where those taxes are being spent. Low crime rate and beautiful scenery. And just a short hop, skip and a jump from the mainland.

redbobblehat Sat 02-Feb-13 14:56:03

a nice sandy beach in the sun is my idea of heaven

dh is in finance and im a sahm atm

Gauri Sat 02-Feb-13 14:58:14

theodora you sound interesting. What 'serious' conversation are you wanting?

redbobblehat Sat 02-Feb-13 14:58:14

a quite basic lifestyle suits me fine, a little house on the beach would be bliss

thebody Sat 02-Feb-13 14:59:25

We have friends in Dubai and they love it. We have visited and enjoyed it but it seemed like a weird utopia. Unreal.

I suppose its when the chips are down then you appreciate free education, welfare, healthcare and the safety benefit net.

Op we are lucky to live here, much worse places, just crap weather.

PickledInAPearTree Sat 02-Feb-13 14:59:28

I always fancied Germany and I have No idea why.

Have you lived in lots of places Theodora I would have loved to ha e done that but never managed to leave Wales. Which is soggy but I am very fond of.

theodorakisses Sat 02-Feb-13 15:00:17

I don't know, was it my user name? I am nothing special believe me, I just get irritated with people making judgements on places they have never been to. It is so easy to slag off places because of what you have read in the daily Mail or Guardian but, the places that don't get reported are far worse. I honestly believe that the gap between UK expats and residents is impossible to explain, we are meant to be British but we don't really fit in so in some ways we are nomads.

redbobblehat Sat 02-Feb-13 15:02:44

theo, i have been to dubai, but you can't tell what things are really like from a holiday

redlac Sat 02-Feb-13 15:03:50

I'd go to Denmark - I admit that my love of Borgen is a factor in this and have no real basis other than a TV show to sway my decision

theodorakisses Sat 02-Feb-13 15:04:06

And actually, all I was objecting to was the ridiculous statement that Dubai is full of starving people on the streets. I don't want a fight. if anyone actually wanted to know what life is like where I live they can PM me and I can help them.

Booyhoo Sat 02-Feb-13 15:04:23

you dont know id you are high up in one of the big oil companies? confused

JollyRedGiant Sat 02-Feb-13 15:04:39

I can't believe someone described the UK as "blatantly corrupt". It really isn't. There is not widespread corruption in the public sector. Politicians were fairly and democratically voted in. There is very little bribery. Campaign finance is pretty transparent.

I do not at all agree with what the Tories are doing. But I would never suggest they are doing it for corrupt reasons.

theodorakisses Sat 02-Feb-13 15:05:07

I live in Qatar, it is 55 minute flight, we go there once a month to buy stuff. hardly an all inclusive once a year holiday.

thebody Sat 02-Feb-13 15:06:03

Pickled, our best holidays with the kids were in saundersfoot,, rainy yes but can't beat Folly Farm and Oakwood and now kids older could all do the cozy pubs together..

I agree theo, obviously if you haven't been to a country you can't really judge! Lot of stupid myths out there.

theodorakisses Sat 02-Feb-13 15:06:50

Stop goading. I am saying, if I have said that before and it was my user name then, yes I said it. I am on here quite a lot, things come up, maybe I did. Why the attack? Weird.

ItsAllGoingToBeFine Sat 02-Feb-13 15:09:27

Another vote for a newly independent Scotland...

Low population density, beautiful scenery, skiing in winter, no language issues unless you move to Glasgow or dundee, Scottish NHs, great education system, free university, and a population with in general more socialist leanings than rUK.

GrowSomeCress Sat 02-Feb-13 15:11:09

Hahaha. We have it wonderful in the UK compared to other countries. Some people don't realise how lucky we are.

redbobblehat Sat 02-Feb-13 15:12:17

oh scotland sounds very appealing indeed, bit chilly perhaps

Booyhoo Sat 02-Feb-13 15:12:35

not attacking at all! jeez, relax. i asked if you were that person, you replied that you dont know. i thought it was odd that you didn't know whether you have claimed to work high up for one of the big oil companies. it seems like something you might remember saying.

do you work high up in one of the big oil companies?

theodorakisses Sat 02-Feb-13 15:13:06

People would do anything, and frequently do to live in the UK. I agree that, obviously corruption isn't a great way to describe things. real corruption kills people.

Canada is really wonderful (but yes, it is cold). Depends on your priorities.
I live in London btw and have no plans to move.

GrendelsMum Sat 02-Feb-13 15:14:21

DH used to live in Germany, and has family there. He still works in Germany some of the time.

We think the public transport is excellent, but you should hear his aunt complain about the delays and the lack of air conditioning in summer! Plus generally it's very nice, clean, tidy, I like the architecture, I like the food, I like going walking, I think it's quite good value to visit in terms of eating out, I love the culture in the south of going out on a Sunday to have a piece of cake or a ice cream. And apparently street sausage vendors are highly regulated and so the sausages are of excellent quality...

Downsides - it would obviously help if you spoke German. DH is fluent, but I just stand next to him nodding and smiling. It also helps if you have something to talk about in the office to your colleagues - i.e. are watching German TV and films and reading German books and newspapers.

Apparently people in Munich can be really self-righteous and up themselves.

tyaca Sat 02-Feb-13 15:14:21

booyo - i remember the thread, an expat in singapore, stranger slapped her baby in a shop? theodora's posts had me hooked. i'm not sure how it got from a discussion about OP's slapped baby to a discussion of her high-falutin job in HR for an oil company? impressive threadjacking ...

Gauri Sat 02-Feb-13 15:14:22

theodora the gaps between British expats and local residents is really artificial. I think it is self made ( i.e the expats live in their own little bubble of smugness). Yes, the expats are richer than most locals but there are locals even richer in most of these countries now.

theodorakisses Sat 02-Feb-13 15:14:45

No, I am a middle manager. As a Westerner I would never get any higher than I am and am already training a local to do my job. Then I am out of a job. Hardly businesswoman of the year.

mrsbunnylove Sat 02-Feb-13 15:15:05

provide? provide?
find somewhere, something-for-nothing-lover, and move.

WhatsTheBuzz Sat 02-Feb-13 15:16:14

we've actually got it pretty good on the whole. Compared to some.

Euphemia Sat 02-Feb-13 15:16:21

no language issues unless you move to Glasgow or dundee

I've lived in both and they're fab. Dundee would win hands down, if they moved the Glasgow shops there. smile

theodorakisses Sat 02-Feb-13 15:16:49

I have only ever been to Singapore on holiday. Unutterably tedious and not my cup of tea, left early. I am hiding this now, too weird.

WhatsTheBuzz Sat 02-Feb-13 15:17:41

as far as the weather goes, we're lucky enough to have four seasons. Few tornadoes or hurricanes, severe droughts, constant snow, etc.

Euphemia Sat 02-Feb-13 15:17:51

I'm not a tub-thumping fan of Scottish independence, unlike my DF and DB, but oh my goodness what a fab thought - bye-bye Tory government. For all time. Sweet as a nut.

I don't think there are many countries that are "better" than the Uk. I am not English, btw, so I am not biased.

Probably New Zealand. Denmark is another good place, but the weather is even worse than the Uk.

ItsAllGoingToBeFine Sat 02-Feb-13 15:18:43

Oh they are both fab, I am a weegie myself now, but when I first came here I needed a translator, and I needed to listen very very carefully when working with some young people from Dundee grin

Booyhoo Sat 02-Feb-13 15:20:36

oh yes it was you then theo.

yes tyaca- that's the thread.

I am a city person. And there is nowhere like London. So England it has to be for me, therefore, since it is the only place that has London!

PandaOnAPushBike Sat 02-Feb-13 15:21:40

Come to Sweden. Quality of life here is so much better than in England. Except for the eyeball freezing cold.

Mosman Sat 02-Feb-13 15:22:49

What's your definition of quality of life Panda ?

I agree Dudes, London is great. I must say I also wouldn't mind living in Nyc.

lljkk Sat 02-Feb-13 15:23:00

I vote Scandinavia. But keep in mind you have to deal with very progressive opinions about most social issues. Stuff that would have the Daily Mail screaming. Except where the minority race & Saami are concerned, their own traveller community still gets treated pretty rubbish.

Japan is a very conformist yet materialistic society. Mildly crap for women, too.

Ashoething Sat 02-Feb-13 15:24:55

i have 2 friends who moved to oz last year who are loving it.i think it would be too hot for me though.dh had the chance yo emigrate there years ago and bottled it at the last minute.loving the fact that a poster has been caught out on bullshit lol.

ihatethecold Sat 02-Feb-13 15:25:05

ive heard that canada has a good standard of living. prob not the warmest place to live though.
great scenery though!

Gauri Sat 02-Feb-13 15:26:10

I am living in Malaysia right now and think this is as perfect as it gets... In terms of quality of live. Safety is an issue though. Which brings a 8/10 down to 7/10.

Gauri Sat 02-Feb-13 15:26:10

I am living in Malaysia right now and think this is as perfect as it gets... In terms of quality of live. Safety is an issue though. Which brings a 8/10 down to 7/10.

BubaMarra Sat 02-Feb-13 15:28:43

As your DH is in finance, I would recommend Dubai. And I am not saying it just like that - I had had the same idea few years ago. Also, have friends who left their London finance careers to continue life in places like Dubai, Qatar (the next big Middle East business centre), even Bahrain. Of all these places, my first pick would be Dubai. Yes, local culture is very different to western, but the environment is very international as well. Just to say that those friends had been horrified by my idea to move to Dubai, but few years down the line they accepted ME job offers with no second thoughts. They said they had been ignorant when trashing other countries without actually knowing anything about them.

GothAnneGeddes Sat 02-Feb-13 15:30:42


There are so many marvellous things about the UK and from the UK, I refuse to let the Tory bastards ruin all. They are not the UK, we are.

GrowSomeCress Sat 02-Feb-13 15:33:14

Let's bear in mind that the OP wants a good life "provided" for her. That means all countries without extensive welfare are out grin

Yep. I expect there are loads of 'em. Providing the people that live there are nicely loaded.

I live in Canada. Nice country. The thing that repeatedly pisses me off is that they only look to the South to compare. So, we have great healthcare compared to the US (so does anywhere Western) we have social welfare (nope, just next to the US), stable economy (ditto). They need to stop basing what they do politically and socially on being slightly better than the States.

fuckadoodlepoopoo Sat 02-Feb-13 15:39:30


Wow you're so angry!

hiddenhome Sat 02-Feb-13 15:40:03

What, like the Russian Federation, Bangladesh or Columbia? confused I'm not a huge fan if the UK, but I think most other places are either as bad, worse or unfeasibly expensive.

fuckadoodlepoopoo Sat 02-Feb-13 15:40:13


Gauri Sat 02-Feb-13 15:40:55

Ah, but the Canadians are the slightly dowdier, slightly less dynamic, slightly less pretty, slightly less richer, slightly less cooler lot than the Americans. I think that deep inside they have the insecurity of now being American.

Mosman Sat 02-Feb-13 15:42:33

I fcuking hate Prawns. They are no bigger in my experience, size isn't everything anyway.

honeytea Sat 02-Feb-13 15:46:35

Sweden doesn't have very high taxes, nor does it have a suicide rate higher than average.

The positives are amazing family support, 18 months paid leave to share between mum and dad, cheap housing, free daycare, very little class system, parks all over the place, fantastic winter sports, hot summers, snowy winters, everyone speaks English, lots of holidays, lots of space, cheap travel, free bus travel with a pushchair. Free Swedish lessons.

The cons are very cold winters (you really need to embrace winter sports) dark short winter days, in my experience Swedes are hard to get to know but there are fantastic ex-pat communities, really expensive food, it's hard to get a job without speaking good Swedish, there is a negative attitude to immigrants with huge immigrant areas that Swedes would not dream of living in, the Swedes are very conformist if yiu stand out (which you would because you are foreign) life can be hard.

redbobblehat Sat 02-Feb-13 15:47:26

we don't claim any benefits thanks grow

but i don't likethey way peoples freedom is being taken away here, i think its this universal benefit thing that stipped me over the edge of despair, even when we don't claim anything

i dont like others being treated this way

Oh dear, I find Americans (US) utterly uncool, on average (with many exceptions, obviously)

What are taxes like in canada? House prices?

They are calling out for people in DPs training area. If it werent for the fact DD1 has her dad here we would be on a plane tomorrow. We fantasize a lot though.

Please tell me bad things grin

GinandJag Sat 02-Feb-13 15:50:21

I love how people threaten to leave the country.

First of all, the UK must be one of the least corrupt countries in the entire world.

Secondly, you can just up-sticks and go somewhere else. There is a small matter of getting a visa.

Going on holiday for a week or two is not real life.

Having grown up in the nicest part of Scotland, lived for many years in the USA, and now the south of England, where I am now is the best by far. Saying that, I think it is great to live somewhere else for a while if only to find out what side your bread is really buttered on.

I agree,the UK is one of the least corrupted countries in the world, and I am Italian, I know what corruption is.

And despite all its cons, I think the Uk is a good and safe place to live.

PandaOnAPushBike Sat 02-Feb-13 15:57:26

What's your definition of quality of life Panda ?

A lovely, spacious 4 bed detatched home for 50k. Clean air and streets. Peace and quiet. Polite community focused neighbours. Excellent schools with free school meals for all children and free university education. Children still play outside. Better work life balance for all, especially parents (480 days parental leave at 80-100% of salary split between both parents plus paid time off to care for your children when they're ill). Everything is done at a slower, more relaxed pace eg supermarket the week before Christmas is no busier than a UK one at 4.00am.

ZZZenAgain Sat 02-Feb-13 15:58:06

if you are worried about the way the poor are treated in the UK and this is your main concern, a move to Dubai doesn't sound like the solution tbh.

If it is more about your own standard of living, if your dh is likely to get a job with a high income, yes , you could probably have a better standard of living in some other countries. However, this is becoming more difficult to obtain IMO than for instance even just 20 years ago, so length of contract, likelihood of renewal is worth keeping in mind.

If you are not moving via a high paid job, generally I think first generation immigrants have to be prepared to work incredibly hard in order to get something in place for the dc who will then reap the benefits of the move. The parents will probably need to work much harder than they did in the UK to get set up. This will apply whether you move from the UK to Portugal or to Australia or to Canada. Nothing will fall into your lap, unless you are unusually blessed. The time to do these moves IMO is as a student or young person setting out. It is not often possible to move somewhere else for a cushier life these days . Unless you are moving somewhere where families and local resources are geered to helping you, you have to be tough and determined and you don't really come across like that to me in your OP.

If it were me, I might look at somewhere in South America but you have all the worries of corruption and poverty there to contend with, that is for sure.

GinandJag Sat 02-Feb-13 15:58:44

Yeah, but my local corner shop owned by Mr Singh is better than most Swedish supermarkets.

SucksToBeMe Sat 02-Feb-13 15:59:06

I found Canada and Switzerland to be very close to perfect.

HannahsSister40 Sat 02-Feb-13 15:59:36

I think that everyone who's ever moaned about the uk and especially those who moan about 'fucking Tories' should spend 5 years working and travelling around the world. And then they might realise what a paradise the uk often is, by comparison. And that whilst the Tories have made cuts, which they and the Labour Party both said they'd make during the election, they could've made much much harsher cuts. And will need to, in future, to help clean up the mess made by Tony and Gordon. We've got off easy compared to the penalties around the globe for boom and bust fuckwittery. If you want to move to some socialist paradise where a government with unlimited funds throws treats to an expectant electorate, please let me know where it is. Because I know of no such place.

GinandJag Sat 02-Feb-13 16:01:40

Canada is lovely but you spend so much time in the car surrounded by crazy and vicious drivers.

ZZZenAgain Sat 02-Feb-13 16:02:56

I have always thought I could live in Canada (from what you pick up about it without ever having been there). Never crossed my mind that Canada is plagued with manic drivers. Funny, isn't it, how every place has its bad sides?

GinandJag Sat 02-Feb-13 16:04:21

It might just be Toronto. Oh, and mosquitoes are viscious too.

thegreylady Sat 02-Feb-13 16:07:24

My ds lives in Turkey and is very very happy there.I have travelled widely but have only lived abroad in Sierra leone in the 70's [pre civil war] when then dh was lecturing at the university.
I have never been in a country where I wanted to live more than here.
Health and education both have problems but they are free.Taxes are high but not the highest.Politicians-lets face it corruption seems to be part of the job description no matter where they are.
Social benefits are among the best in the world.We have a decent degree of freedom of speech,gun laws etc.
England isnt perfect but whenever I've been abroad and the plane comes in to land I feel safe-I'm home.

Good post, Zzz.

ZZZenAgain Sat 02-Feb-13 16:07:31

redbobble my last long post was quite negative, sorry about that so let me be more positive. I would say, go on expat forums and read up about life in Dubai so you have more of an idea of the pros and cons. Read up on the place generally. Then see if it becomes more or less attractive an option. I can't say it would tempt me much tbh but I can imagine you could make it work, especially if you give yourself a certain amount of time to live there with the main aim of building up some capital before you resettle elsewhere. This is what most people I know have done there.

What other places could dh get a job in where the wage looks good?

Booyhoo Sat 02-Feb-13 16:11:37

i have family that moved to canada roughly 30 years ago (3 uncles) 1 stayed and raised his family there, one moved to texas and the other came back home. the son of the one that stayed has moved over here now to live with his family and loves it. i dont really know what any of this says about canada though grin

acceptableinthe80s Sat 02-Feb-13 16:11:45

Where's the nicest place in Scotland Ginandjag?

crazyforbaby Sat 02-Feb-13 16:12:24

Ihatethecold and TheDudesMummy - not all of Canada is cold. In Vancouver on the West Coast, we have had a v v mild winter, with just one day of snow. Yes there is ski-ing, but you either have to travel up North, or go up high in the mountains. Now if only the property costs weren't as high as in London <sigh>

GrowSomeCress Sat 02-Feb-13 16:13:38

redbobblehat it's worse in so many other countries. The poor have it so much better here than they would in most other countries in the world - the only exceptions are probably the Scandinavian countries where taxes are v v high

stargirl1701 Sat 02-Feb-13 16:14:27

Perth & Perthshire is the nicest place in Scotland. I love living here.

MrsDoomsPatterson Sat 02-Feb-13 16:17:24

The UK may have its faults, oh yes. But it's my UK & I couldn't, wouldn't want up live anywhere else.

It's still you, wherever you are....

Euphemia Sat 02-Feb-13 16:17:45

Perth is a lovely city. It has Fat Face, White Stuff, Lakeland and a half-decent M&S. smile

ShellyBoobs Sat 02-Feb-13 16:18:09

Andy why is Canada such a good place to live?

Well partly at least due to the way the government savagely cut spending when they had an economic crisis in the 90s which helped them to create a secure and comfortable future for the country.

Cuts of over 10% across the entire public spend were implemented!

That's far above what the UK is trying to do, and now here we are with people deriding the cuts in the UK and saying how much better Canada is.

Have cake and eat it?


ShellyBoobs Sat 02-Feb-13 16:27:42

Who's Andy? confused

Bloody fat fingers iPhone...

MoominmammasHandbag Sat 02-Feb-13 16:29:52

Yes what a shit place the UK is

Gorgeous countryside
Vibrant cities
Free healthcare
Free education
Democratically elected government
Accountable police force
Decent legal system
Equal rights enshrined in law
Welfare safety net
Tolerant society


squashedbanana Sat 02-Feb-13 16:33:39

I agree with moomin, though I wouldn't say the legal system is decent in the slightest, but then I don't know enough about legal systems in other countries to use as a comparison. Other places may have better or wore, but ours needs working on a lot

Free healthcare and education doesn't equate to 'good' healthcare and education, but at least it's free

Now if only we could have accountable politicians...

<Waves at fellow Canadian immigrant> Hi crazyforbaby how is the LO?

Canada means that I live in a house rather than a flat, wouldn't have happened in London. I can go out once in a while. I can walk home at night without being terrified of drunk idiots. Mostly safer, mostly less expensive.

I find it boring, parochial, white and the music is AWFUL. It may be because I live in a smaller city here. I miss the vibrancy of London. We don't have, for example, the best museums in the world, free. London does. Think of all the things that are good.

soverylucky Sat 02-Feb-13 16:39:16

Free education up to age 18
The wonderful history and herritage
The chance to live in a society that is culturally and ethnically diverse.
Stunning scenary
The welfare state
Radio 4

I am never going to leave.

stargirl1701 Sat 02-Feb-13 16:40:27

We do have accountable politicians. The elderly are a huge proportion of voting public - they are protected from the cuts. Democracy works.

Those groups who vote in large numbers are listened to.

stargirl1701 Sat 02-Feb-13 16:41:09

Yeah. I could NOT imagine life with Radio 4! gringrin

Some people have NO idea about the reality of life. There is a reason why there are people queuing up to move here. My advice OP, is bugger off to where the grass is greener and stay there. We won't miss you.

There is a worldwide recession, every country has had to cut government spending, raise taxes, and tighten belts. Here is better than most.

MummytoKatie Sat 02-Feb-13 17:00:54

My BIL lives in Germany and really loves it there. He thinks it probably is superior to the UK in many ways.

But he moved at18, having just got an A in German A level and with a German girlfriend. He spoke German to absolutely everyone from his first day out there and now sometimes struggles with his English (and his English nowmhas this amusing german accent!). His German girlfriend is now his wife, all his friends are German, his nicknames for his wife are in german, he lives a completely German lifestyle, he effectively has become German.

He has said that life would have been very hard in Germany if he hadn't been willing (and able) to do that. That attitudes to foreigners is not great (although they don't sound any better or worse than what you get in the Daily Mail in the UK.) In particular he has commented on getting a relatively senior job in Germany - that it would be hard for him to do that if it didn't take people time to realise that he is actually British.

So, it may only be Utopia if you are willing to completely immerse yourself in the country and the language. If you want the UK but a bit warmer and less train delays then it may not be for you!

oldebaglady Sat 02-Feb-13 17:06:17

the UK is the least corrupt country I've lived in
yes at the TOP the politicians are arse holes, but real corruption is where everything.. I mean EVERYTHING! comes down to who you are and who you know and what you can do in return... here everyone's on a level playing field on a local level! say in terms of access to services - the criterias are clear and apply to everyone in the same way!
Like.. say your driving licence needs renewing, here everyone's gets treated the same, in other countries you go to the local office and depending on who you are and who you know in the office it might take days or it might take weeks or even months. It is SO FRUSTRATING!!!!

WifeofPie Sat 02-Feb-13 17:06:26

I live in Canada (my parents moved here from the UK when I was a child). It's a great place to raise a family...and there's iplayer for Radio 4 smile.

PleasePudding Sat 02-Feb-13 17:07:58

I have lived in a few countries and I love the UK. Obvs it has it's problems but actually I really can't think of another country I want to live in - and the relief of the NHS after having a baby in a private system is immense.

magimedi Sat 02-Feb-13 17:08:17

I agree with moomin & soverylucky & would just add:

HIGNFY - Every time I watch it I am just so grateful to live in a country with so little censorship of its media.

marriedinwhite Sat 02-Feb-13 17:09:28

My SIL and her DH, having lived abroad for a number of years, weighed up all the pros and cons about ten years ago and in the context of quality of life plumped for New Zealand. No children. SIL who is English always has her smear, mammogram, dental stuff and eyes tested here when she comes though because it's cheaper here and because she's British she's "entitled" hmm even though she has never paid one penny of tax or NI in the UK.

LtEveDallas Sat 02-Feb-13 17:11:33

I lived in Cyprus for just over a year and loved it. I miss the long hot summer days, the AirCon, going to hotels for a weekend. Lady's Mile beach. Fasouri Waterpark. Ice-cream vans that sold orange juice. Ice cream. Meze dinners. A pool in the back garden. The Troodos mountains and Curium beach. Lovely people, child friendly everything, cars that last 30/40 years.

I don't miss the high prices, low wages, tiny supermarkets, bad roads, terrible clothes, expensive furnishings, intermittant electric and water, bottled gas, backwards schooling, cockroaches and bomber bugs.

I'd still go back, but only if I had a lot of money to spare.

Labootin Sat 02-Feb-13 17:15:33

Personally I love England and I still miss it.

The grass is not always greener (especially if you live in the desert)

Hi OP -- I used to live in London and now live in France, so I can tell you a bit about that? Since you mentioned France as an option.

In terms of quality of life, yes, I think France has a lot more to offer (especially if you have a good salary, which it sounds like you would). There is a better work/life balance, the health care is loads better generally, obviously the food is amaaaazing, there are so many lovely places to visit even on day trips, etc. You have a little bit of everything, mountains, sea, beaches, vineyards. At least for us, life just seems a bit less stressful here and while it's not always cheaper at least it feels like you get more for what you pay. Obviously this depends on where you live.

The downsides for me have been that things feel quite rigid here, nothing is very flexible, in some ways things are stuck in the 1950s. Godawful bureaucracy. It can difficult if you don't speak French, in a way I haven't really found in other European countries.

We do really like it here but actually we would love to move to Germany. My husband grew up there and I've spent some time there and we both love it. It seems to have a lot of the positives of France and less of the negatives, though obviously we would discover downsides there too I guess. But it seems like an amazing place to raise a family and quality of life is quite good.

Otherwise we will move back to England, which I do miss a lot smile

married that's terrible. I can't stand the idea of burdening the NHS when I visit the UK. I actually had to go into a walk-in and get an injection while in the UK last time. I tried to pay, told them I wasn't normally resident. They checked the whole thing out and said that their time and the paperwork was such that they would just rather give me the injection for free.

I can't imagine a mammogram is cheap. She is not entitled as she is not a UK resident. We have no idea how lucky we are to have the NHS.

exoticfruits Sat 02-Feb-13 17:22:02

I'm sure that it is just a case of 'the grass is greener.....' and it generally isn't when you get there.
I think you need to live somewhere else for the positives of the place you are going to and not the negatives of the one you are leaving.

Peevish Sat 02-Feb-13 17:22:28

I'm a foreigner who lives in England, and I love it here, warts and all. Even under those bastard Tories.

And I've lived in lots of different countries, and used to live in Dubai working as a journalist. It is unspeakably hellish. OP, you sound very ill-informed about it - your actual fears have no basis in fact (your husband would only get automatic custody in case of a divorce if he was a UAE citizen, and no one is stoning women), but only move there if you are happy to trade living in a functioning dictatorship with an appalling human rights record and a heavily censored press for cheap manicures and shopping malls.

Peevish well put, "only move there if you are happy to trade living in a functioning dictatorship with an appalling human rights record and a heavily censored press for cheap manicures and shopping malls". I wish all the people who holiday there thought the same thing.

MrsKeithRichards Sat 02-Feb-13 17:35:23

I've lived in Malaysia, boring, dirty and racist.

cory Sat 02-Feb-13 17:39:52

High Swedish suicide rates are a myth; they are lower than many other European countries. However, it is a very family orientated culture, which can make it lonely for anyone coming from outside. Language difficult, winters long, beer watery. I was happy there, but then I belonged.

lljkk Sat 02-Feb-13 17:45:35


acceptableinthe80s Sat 02-Feb-13 17:53:59

Dallas, what the hell are bomber bugs? I've been thinking about Cyprus for a holiday but not liking the sound of them!

cathers Sat 02-Feb-13 17:57:01

Another vote for Canada. Lived in Halifax,Nova Scotia for a year. Has seasons, beautiful landscapes, ski ing, sun, great healthcare and more affordable housing and friendly people. Only downsides- crap annual leave and it's expensive and takes a long time to visit anywhere outside Canada/ US, therefore not as diverse as Uk as everything is very 'Canadian'.

redbobblehat Sat 02-Feb-13 17:58:42

i'm well aware its alot better here in the uk than alot of places, however i still feel there must be somewhere where theres not such huge gaps between the have and have nots, and where its more equal

ItsAllGoingToBeFine Sat 02-Feb-13 18:00:08

Yes what a shit place the UK is

Gorgeous countryside - being opened up for high speed railways, and more housing
Vibrant cities
Free healthcare- rapidly being dismantled and privatised
Free education- except for university level, also rapidly being privatised
Democratically elected government-*arguable if you live in Scotland*
Accountable police force- numbers being cut all over the place
Decent legal system
Equal rights enshrined in law-*although some are more equal than others*
Welfare safety net- also being dismantled
Tolerant society- unless you are an immigrant, a young mum, a traveller, on benefits or disabled...

specialsubject Sat 02-Feb-13 18:00:30

fortunately OP, you live in a first world democracy, so you have the ability and the money to piss right off. Go for it.

me, I love the drinkable tap water, disease-free insects, climate that is not so hot and humid that I need aircon, lack of poisonous life forms, clean air, free press, open borders, wonderful history, amazing scenery, free health care, free education, lack of earthquakes and bush fires, freedom to dress as I like without getting beaten or arrested for it, freedom to worship the deity that I don't believe in (and freedom to do that) and many other things.

nowhere's perfect.

GrendelsMum Sat 02-Feb-13 18:01:30

RedBobbleHat - what languages do you and your DH (and DCs?) speak fluently? Presumably that's going to make a difference to where you decide to move?

If I could go anywhere I'd go to NZ, I went there 7 years ago for 6 months & I still miss it. Obviously travelling round isn't the same as holding down a job etc, but I know a few people who have emigrated & never looked back.

Romania is nice.

I lost my link and posted too soon.

Have you seen this: "We may not like Britain, But you will love Romania"

germyrabbit Sat 02-Feb-13 18:16:16

i think it's peachy living here

Purple2012 Sat 02-Feb-13 18:16:45

Nowhere is perfect. Me and my husband work for the police - him a police officer and me police staff. We have been badly affected by the cuts. We have lost a lot of money.

Yes I do dream of living a better life in a better place. However we still don't have it too bad

The police - yes there have been cuts, yes people moan and
complain about the police - but at least our police are not like the ones in Egypt that have just been on the news.

The NHS - yes we all hear horror stories or have had bad service.

But we can see a doctor for free. Get free contraception, have free operations etc etc. We don't have to worry about our health insurance running out and treatment stopping.

Benefits - yes we moan, either about not getting enough or people getting too much. But people with disabilities that can't work get DLA, if you have a baby you get SMP. You get child benefit/tax allowance. You get free council tax. Low rent council housing

Education - yes we now have to pay for uni, but up til then education is free and compulsory. Young girls don't get shot for wanting to learn.

Pensions - well, mine and my husbands are severly affected by the cuts. But there is the old age pension. If you live in a council house you don't pay rent after 80. You don't pay tv licence after a certain
age. You get heating allowance.

So yes, the government are a bunch of shits. But we don't have it too bad.

Geranium3 Sat 02-Feb-13 18:18:15

cornwall is wonderful, a very special and beautiful county, marvellous place to bring up children if you can find suitable employment.
I know it really is part of england/UK but plenty of the locals down here consider it to be a seperate country!!
When the sun is shining and the sea is turquoise and sparkling you could truly be in n.zealand, oz, mauritius etc etc

PandaNot Sat 02-Feb-13 18:22:01


GothAnneGeddes Sat 02-Feb-13 18:24:10

Whoa there ItsAll.

I have noted with dismay that quite a few comments here have mentioned racism or "not being very accepting" as a bit of an afterthought.

However, I would say that while the UK is not perfect, it is far more accepting of ethnic and religious differences then many other countries and that includes the EU.

I work in a good and worthwhile job here in the UK, whereas some of the other countries listed upthread wouldn't employ me unless I removed my headscarf.

Also, I notice no one talking about Canada has mentioned their appalling treatment of the First Nations people, from forced relocations to the residential schools scandal and the Highway of Tears.

There also the fact that a major political party in Switzerland has adverts like this:

The link shows the original UDC poster alongside some responses to it

JollyRedGiant Sat 02-Feb-13 18:32:16

Aberdeenshire is amazing. Google quality of life ratings and it regularly comes very high up. Top in Scotland. And there are 2 jobs in Aberdeen for every unemployed person smile

Iteotwawki Sat 02-Feb-13 18:37:51

NZ is great.

Except nothing is free - there's a charge to visit the GP (hospital care is free), there are "voluntary" donations for schools and we have to provide all stationery and exercise books each term.

Housing is cheap - but unless you pay for a decent house, it's also shockingly poor quality (no insulation, single glazing, damp and leaky - no wonder childhood asthma rates are so high).

The scenery is stunning but you can't eat mountains and beaches.

Don't get me wrong, I adore living here. We have a fab house which we wouldn't have been able to design & build in the uk, the boys have an amazing outdoors lifestyle (made easier by on the whole, superb weather), the local schools are all excellent and our few brushes with the health system have been far better than my experiences of the NHS.

But we also had a great life in the uk before we left. We didn't leave because we disliked where we were, we left because we liked somewhere else more. Move for negative reasons and I suspect you'll recreate the same dissatisfaction wherever you end up.

And while NZ comes pretty close to kungfu's list of Utopian characteristics, it's a long way away from all my family. Might as well be the other side of the moon as the other side of the world given how expensive flights are.

NumericalMum Sat 02-Feb-13 18:52:17

I fear some people should think about life in other countries.
Where I am from there is real corruption. Politicians are unaccountable for any of their actions and a lot of people have no running water or sanitation despite the president having a private jet.

There is real unemployment. People who genuinely want to work can't. People live in true poverty. And there is no free schooling and free healthcare is dire. Private doctors get people to have unnecessary operations (c sections, dental surgery etc) to make more money. People are really intolerant.

I love knowing my DC will grow up with the NHS, a wonderful multi cultural society around her and will accept everyone for just being themselves. As another poster said OP please leave. There are millions of us who would love to enjoy what you take for granted.

crazyforbaby Sat 02-Feb-13 18:59:02

Hiya MrsTP
Yeah, baby good - thx! Feeding, feeding, feeding - all the more time for me to spend sitting at all good, ha ha! Oldest child (13yo) giving me a few grey hairs at the moment, just glad we didn't move to Canada now when she is awash with hormones.
OP nowhere is going to be perfect. Canada is working out well for us, but we have put in hard graft, fighting the waves of homesickness, adapting to a whole new way of living. It can get a bit lonely at times, but please go on a visit to the country and research it well before selling your house and committing yourself to a job, cos it'll impact your whole family. I of course signed along the dotted line and dragged the family out here without doing any research thinking it'd be like something off the TV - not to be recommended!!!
I work full time here and the first year I arrived, I received six days annual leave for the whole year. Hth.

Babyroobs Sat 02-Feb-13 19:10:36

I was just talking with work colleagues last night on the very same topic - we were all wanting to leave the Uk ! We did live in New Zealand for almost five years ( this was ten years ago). Our first two children were born out there and it was a huge struggle . For a start there was no proper maternity pay - I got paid nothing from the day I left to when I went back six months later, then I got a small lump sum but nothing like here ! Wages were low , such that we could rarely travel or have visits home. Holiday entitlement was nothing compared to The UK and sick pay was very limited . We had to pay $60 for every trip to the GP. I don't think people always appreciate how generous our welfare system in the UK is . Having said all this the weather was good , the people lovely, the countryside beautiful and we loved it . We only came back for family reasons but would love to settle there or in Australia again, but our ages and the cost of re-location and the lack of enthusiasm from the kids is holding us back.

True, crazy I watched too much Due South. The Mounties are NOT as advertised!

KCBA Sat 02-Feb-13 19:26:46

I have always been a fan of trying to improve the standards of where I live rather than packing up my bags and shifting!

ZZZenAgain Sat 02-Feb-13 20:19:24

if you want a more egalitarian society, I think on the whole NZ offers that. However, there are private schools and there are, not perhaps to outsiders immediately noticable, "posh NZ accents" but NZers can tell. On the whole though, snobbery is more frowned on than accepted which is not to say that it is non existant. There is the normal health care available to everyone but at a price (visits to the GP and medicine you contribute to, as in Ireland I believe) and then there are providers of private health care which will get you different treatment of course.

I agree with the negative sides to life there that others have mentioned (houses, distance to Europe, cost of living and I would add pubs not as inviting for women on the whole as in the UK). I did think it a friendly enough place but there is quite a lot of violent crime (break-ins, gangs) which you might not expect for a country with such a small population and not many large urban areas. Amongst the youth, also drunk driving is a problem, minimum age for a driving license used to be 15 but I see this has been raised to 16 with a graduated system which is probably an improvement. Still, due to lack of public transport, especially nights, you get a lot of young drivers out on the roads.

It is a fairly hands on, down to earth, no nonsense sort of place and if you think that would suit you, you could have a look into it.

CloudsAndTrees Sat 02-Feb-13 20:29:10

It's actually quite sickening that people don't realise how lucky they are to live in the UK.

It's far far from perfect, but there are people in this world that risk their lives trying to get here. That OP leaves a very nasty taste.

Open your eyes to the real poverty and corruption that goes in so much of the world, and then say you are sick of this country and fancy somewhere that provides a better life. That's the sort of comment that can only come from someone seriously undereducated about the rest of the world, and from someone who is too lazy and entitled to try and make a better life for themselves instead of expecting their government to hand it over on a silver platter.

shesariver Sat 02-Feb-13 20:31:00

Welfare safety net

Well for the moment.... for what its worth. Sadly the Tories seem intent on destroying it, cutting too much and too quickly all under the excuse "oh we have to"

allgoingtoshitnow Sat 02-Feb-13 21:02:52

Excellent post CloudsAndTrees.

People have it easy on benefits in this country. They are generous to the point that they have nearly bankrupted us. The so called 'cuts' are tiny compared with those happening over the rest of Europe.

Tax rates are reasonable for those who choose to work and contribute.

The NHS is great. It is not being dismantled. It provides a high level of service and the envy of the world.

However, I think you should go OP as you clearly arent happy. And if you could take some of the whining delusional MN socialists with you as you leave then that would be just peachy.

"the envy of the world" is a bit of a hyperbole though. I love the Nhs, but for many conditions the UK has worse rates than the rest of Europe.

Maybe not for long, given the cuts performed here (europe).

NumericalMum Sat 02-Feb-13 21:12:52

"Welfare safety net

Well for the moment.... for what its worth. Sadly the Tories seem intent on destroying it, cutting too much and too quickly all under the excuse "oh we have to""

Seriously? The cuts are teeny weeny compared to the rest of the world but please, do us all a favour and go where you feel you will get more for doing nothing

ZZZenAgain Sat 02-Feb-13 21:17:21

what would an illegal immigrant do for health care in the UK? Can people in that situation access the NHS without any paperwork?

PolkadotCircus Sat 02-Feb-13 21:18:31

I personally am just putting my head down and counting down the days until the next election.Lets face it no way on earth are the Tories going to be back in power.

Agree with bits and bots of several posts however the NHS is in the shit and Canada is uber boring.

CloudsAndTrees Sat 02-Feb-13 21:24:09

Have you ever been asked for paperwork when turning up at A&E? No one checks anything.

Illegal immigrants get treated all the time. The NHS loses a fortune in treating people who theoretically are not entitled to treatment. Linky

HollyBerryBush Sat 02-Feb-13 21:26:11

I love the fact peopel think they can just emigrate - most other countries are a damned site more selective than we are in admitting people - now then OP, where do you think you have the skills, the finance, and the eligability to go to?

ZZZenAgain Sat 02-Feb-13 21:26:28

just wondering because I have a friend who is a doctor in another EU country and she treats illegal immigrants outside her ordinary working hours and all the medicine is only what they can organise via charity. Lots of pregnant women, an awful lot of dc, many people who don't come until they are desperately sick. Some countries provide more efficient health care for insured residents but there are so many that fall by the wayside. Hard to get the perfect system.

Horopu Sat 02-Feb-13 21:35:34

I just want to agree with Iteotwawki's post about NZ and moving for positive reasons. So many great things but not free (spent NZ$35 to have my son checked over by the nurse after a quad bike accident yesterday).

Until we arrived I had not realised that NZ has a high suicide rate for young men (I have 3 boys) and high levels (comparatively) of domestic violence.

I loved living in London and I love living here.

Corygal Sat 02-Feb-13 21:35:52

Denmark is heaven. The taxes are the same as the UK (our stealth taxes see to that), the schools are lovely, fantastic culture and you can walk down the pavement in Copenhagen without being trodden on by the rest of the local population.

The health service is free and works. The benefit system is better than the UK and works. There's v low unemployment.

The values are better than those in the UK; less state corruption (no Danish Eton to beget trouble), and a strong socialist focus on fairness, common sense, decency and self-improvement.

When I had been to Copenhagen a few times I finally asked my DB (lives there) Where are the slums? Where are the city's destitute? He looked at me as if I was nuts and said There Aren't Any.

determinedma Sat 02-Feb-13 21:43:55

Independent Scotland? That will be bankrupt Scotland then.
Already the highest levels of teen pregnancy, heart disease and tooth decay in the EU. High percentage of poor literacy in school leavers.yes, university tuition fees are paid, but students loan agency SAAS currently under review for failure rates in dealing with applications.high alcohol dependency rates. Cold and wet in winter, cold and wet in summer but with added midges.

HollyBerryBush Sat 02-Feb-13 21:45:14

Determinedma* what happened to the Scots education system - it used to be the best in the world, far over and above England

Corygal Sat 02-Feb-13 21:48:20

What staggers me is how, if Britain is compared to other countries, it's always states like Taliban-dominated Afghanistan circa 1995, coke-fuelled Guatemala in the 70s, or a nation with zero GDP where war has just broken out following a drought.

Not, you know, comparable nations like the rest of Europe, the West, or even, Lord save us, a new African or South American state that is making money and thriving.

Can the only leverage the UK can get in a competition for best country really be from the world's most violent troublespots, most repressive regimes, and most notorious poverty? Or would comparing GB with its peers be a little too close for comfort?

maddening Sat 02-Feb-13 21:49:47

Canada, Scotland, scandinavia are the places I would choose - no experience though - except of Scotland which I love.

NumericalMum Sat 02-Feb-13 21:56:04

The Uk is so much more tolerant than most of Europe. The cities are clean and there is much less unemployment. If this wasn't true then why are there so many French, Swedish, Spanish, Danish etc people living here? My Swedish friends would much rather live and work in London where they are taxed less and people are more tolerant.

determinedma Sat 02-Feb-13 21:56:39

holly I don't know.'I have 3 Dcs who have either been through it or are going through it. I'm not impressed.At times I have been appalled at what is considered acceptable.

HollyBerryBush Sat 02-Feb-13 21:57:34

Other than Canada, because i have a lot of family over there, I wouldnt want to live anywhere else but the UK, preferably London. Why would anyone want to go overseas, other than short visits?

cant fathom it myself.

ZZZenAgain Sat 02-Feb-13 22:00:13

in my case, maybe because that is the way I was brought up, so it feels perfectly natural for people to move somewhere and live there for 2, 5 , 10 years or even permanently. I don't feel rooted in quite the same way I suppose as people who were brought up in one place. My sister and brother seem to feel the same.

Some people just like the adventure of it I think.

CoteDAzur Sat 02-Feb-13 22:07:28

redbobble - What kind of finance does your DH do? Commercial? Investment banking? Private banking?

If he is in private banking, I would recommend looking into Monaco. Right on the Mediterranean Sea. Perfect weather, lots of work for private bankers, free schooling, safe & fun. 15 min drive from Italy, 20 min from Nice, 45 min from Cannes, and 1.5 hours from St Tropez.

blondefriend Sat 02-Feb-13 22:08:13

Considering my ds had to have (estimated) about £750,000 worth of treatment on the NHS I am bloody glad to live here. I know people in the US who are having to do charity drive after charity drive to get their child the operation my son had at 3 months that saved his life and I know people from China, India, middle East who are struggling to get their children into either GOSH or CHOP (in Philadelphia) as there are few hospitals that deal with rare conditions.

I'm lucky because I do have a good job and am financially stable but there are many amazing things about this country and I am proud to be British.

allgoingtoshitnow Sat 02-Feb-13 22:19:28

"I personally am just putting my head down and counting down the days until the next election.Lets face it no way on earth are the Tories going to be back in power."

The Tories will be back in power. Dont take MN as representative of the real world because it just isnt. We are mid term and the Labour lead is pathetic.

I am looking forward to the wailing on here in 2015.

specialsubject Sat 02-Feb-13 22:20:39

Denmark is supposed to be a nice spot, but I don't imagine the OP is fluent in Danish. She may also not like the weather or the prices. BTW what are the UK 'stealth taxes'?

I've spent a lot of time in NZ - plenty of upsides. Downsides: murderous road death toll (despite the same space as the UK and only four million people, they kill each other with cars at a massive rate), big social problems, freezing houses, long way from anywhere in both space and time, high prices, short history, not that cultural. Oh, and earthquakes.

watch the news, and think of all the places you can be glad that you weren't born. While our generous benefits system does attract a lot of the people who are always trying to get into the UK, I don't think it is just that. I know a lot of them don't find it as good as they hoped - but it is still a lot better than many of the places that they come from.

anyone who says it is cold all the time in the UK clearly spends too much time indoors.

anyway OP, you can go anywhere in the EU at the drop of the hat, so let us know how you get on.

MariusEarlobe Sat 02-Feb-13 22:24:27

I can imagine Scotland becoming more crowded if they get independence.

I wonder if they will have me, my great great Grandad served in Black watch but I've only ever been once..

We have seriously been looking at emigrating recently. My main issue is the education system.

ThePathanKhansWitch Sat 02-Feb-13 22:35:08

Corygal, I am very envy, Norway sounds very nice.
Scotland is lovely and the people are tops.

I think, wherever you are in the world if you have a needed skill or are independantly wealthy, life is good.

For me home is where the heart is, I,d only go if all my mad family came with me.grin.

GothAnneGeddes Sat 02-Feb-13 22:51:08
ZZZenAgain Sat 02-Feb-13 22:53:17

tbh I noticed the racism a bit when we were in Copenhagen but nowhere else. I suppose elsewhere people are quite reliant on seasonal tourism but don't have so many immigrant residents. It seemed a good place to me but I don't know if I would miss a more varied landscape.

indahouse Sat 02-Feb-13 22:54:09

Op, stop reading Daily Mail and your life will improve dramatically.

Read a few good books about other countries or your own country's history to see how incredibly, unbelievably lucky you are to live here and now.

shesariver Sat 02-Feb-13 22:56:03

Seriously? The cuts are teeny weeny compared to the rest of the world but please, do us all a favour and go where you feel you will get more for doing nothing

Wtf? Are you talking to me - since I wrote this - or the OP? confused If its me you couldnt be more wrong, I have no intention of leaving Scotland as our NHS is run completely separately thank goodness from the English NHS and is not quite facing the same situation. I hardly think working full-time as a Nurse is "doing nothing". My post referred to the stark reality of what the Tories are doing and will continue to do to the welfare state to the sick and vulnerable, seeing it already with my patients. hmm

shesariver Sat 02-Feb-13 22:58:20

And thats to you NumericalMum since you quoted me.

CarlingBlackMabel Sat 02-Feb-13 23:01:05

OP, it isn't any country's job to provide a better life for you, it's your job. It might be tougher for all of us, we have to work harder for longer , but we have an excellent back stop in the welfare state.

Many countries that you might find desirable have very high taxation, on income or goods.

Uppatreecuppatea Sat 02-Feb-13 23:09:14

I have lived all over the world for all my life and I am always drawn back to England because it's my home.
Other countries might have better weather, better beaches and a better outdoor lifestyle, but it doesn't have that 'feeling at home' thing that you just can't find abroad.

It's hard to define.

One thing I do know for sure: a different country can't make you happier. All it can do is provide a framework.

oldebaglady Sat 02-Feb-13 23:37:40

also, IMO the people that do best in new countries are ones who were happy in their home country, but moved for the experience/opportunity/wanderlust etc

they ones who move to get away from something they don't like... well just find even more things to not like in the new place and tend to end up moving home

If you feel your glass is half empty in the UK, then maybe it's because you're in a glass half empty frame of mind and that will follow you wherever you move!

FamiliesShareGerms Sat 02-Feb-13 23:41:04

Twenty six other countries with a higher quality of life than the UK. Take your pick!

I think the major issue is the balance between taxes and the state. People moan about high taxes but they also moan about people sleeping rough. Personally I would take high taxes and no homeless people and a working health service. If you would rather have no services for anyone and low taxes, there are plenty of places like that.

I've ended up (through the love of a good man!) in a lower tax, lower services country and I don't like the lack of services. Free contraception is a good thing. We pay for it here. Housing Benefit is a good thing, we have a lot of street homeless people here.

Kungfutea Sat 02-Feb-13 23:58:47

I think there are many reasons to leave the uk, cutbacks and 'lying government' are strange reasons!

Presumably you'll want to move somewhere with a more honest government (uk is really not too bad with official secrets act etc) and no cutbacks? Good luck with that one! Certainly Dubai wouldn't be at the top of my list based on those criteria!!

Nowt wrong with wanting to try out life elsewhere, I live abroad myself, but figure out what it is you're looking for.

Fwiw, I thought Singapore was fab. I lived there for a couple of years, not boring at all, lots going on all the time, very safe. I liked it.

AnAirOfHope Sun 03-Feb-13 00:33:39

My three reasons why I live in the UK

1) there is no wildlife that can kill me
2) I am not being bombed or shot at when going about day to day life
3) if im sick I can see a doctor and get treatment.

Also if everything goes tits up I have a sleeping bag that is ok to -30 so ok all year round in UK and there is loads of land to grow apples and potatos on to feed my family.

Life does not get better than that smile

themaltesecat Sun 03-Feb-13 06:00:26

On the subject of New Zealand, a few notes:

- hideous child abuse rates
- man-on-woman assault very common and quite socially acceptable
- largely humourless populace, which is becoming increasingly Americanised
- general apathy, unwillingness to stand up for oneself or others, or fallen Cathedrals
- education system is now a heinous joke (would rather educate my daughter in the UK than in NZ, that's how bad it is!)
- media that is both craven (permanently right up the reigning PM's arse) and infantile
- crap health system, but like UK and indeed most places, it's a hell of a postcode lottery. Unless you're lucky enough to be hospitalised, you'll pay through the nose.
- earthquakes... and now nothing left to pay for it if we get another big one
- low wages, horrendously expensive cost of living
- despite the image we have of ourselves, NZers aren't that friendly. As a rule, we tend to be superficially quite chatty/inquisitive/outgoing but I know from foreign mates that we're nigh on impossible to truly befriend.
- our "lack of corruption" can be a right pain in the arse at times. Pathetic jobsworths, stupid regulations, everything takes so LONG to do. For instance, to get your driver's licence, it takes years and going through three levels of "licence." Our passports last for FIVE YEARS, and it's generally a nightmare to renew them overseas, which causes headaches for anyone with enough gumption to get out of the place
- basic services (eye testing, dentistry) are simply beyond most people's means
- isolation from the rest of the world. It is hugely expensive to go on holiday anywhere more interesting than Australia (Which is pretty much the same, but with nastier creepy crawlies and an even more effeminate masculine population).
- TV is crap, but thankfully there are far fewer channels than in the UK, so it takes a lot less time to go through them all and realise there's nothing on
- paperbacks unjustifiably expensive - $30+ (fifteen pounds) for even a basic paperback novel.

The best thing about being a NZer is that the rest of the world assumes life is great here and generally let me into their countries without problems, because they don't think of me as an asylum seeker. Ho ho ho.

We're off to Russia. Cracking place.

cory Sun 03-Feb-13 10:59:05

oldebaglady Sat 02-Feb-13 23:37:40
"also, IMO the people that do best in new countries are ones who were happy in their home country, but moved for the experience/opportunity/wanderlust etc"


I felt at home in my old country and after a few years I felt at home in the UK. I was expecting it to happen, I took pains to find out what I needed to do for it to happen, what kind of conformity was expected of me for it to happen, how much of that would be compatible with my own personality.

I needed to get used to a different way of speaking, to learn to appreciate potty British humour, to become less uptight about childrearing and a whole lot less uptight about food, to accept a more sedentary, less outdoors type of lifestyle and a general fear of nature and physical danger (particularly as relating to children). I needed to embrace enough of that to fit in, but at the same time not lose myself as a person.

In Scandinavia, the price is not only the higher taxes, but a general expectation of conformity with ideals (they are small countries, and until recently highly homogenous). A directness of speaking which can come across as abrupt and a tendency for extended families to keep themselves to themselves- lovely if you're part of one, lonely if you're not. You also have to get used to a very oldfashioned way of living with the seasons- being less active in winter and hyperactive in summer. Comes naturally to Scandinavians but can be hard for anyone who expects life to be the same all year round.

And towns and built-up areas are very far from one another- which means culture and entertainment is less accessible outside of the big cities. I grew up in a market town; the only time we were able to visit the theatre (apart from holidays abroad) we had to leave before the last act to catch the last train home: I never found out which one of her two suitors the lady married!

The school system has seriously gone downhill since the introduction of the free schools and my Swedish relatives are now jealous of the education my dc are getting in their fairly ordinary comprehensive.

Other cultures will have other costs. But there is always a cost.

ShellyBoobs Sun 03-Feb-13 11:44:55

Totally agree, cory.

It's simply impossible to have everything. Some of the things people on here are touting as being vital to a happy, healthy and productive life are mutually exclusive.

Also, very low population density seems to be one thing most of the supposedly best places to live have in common. That's never going to happen in the UK, particularly in England.

ZZZenAgain Sun 03-Feb-13 13:20:02

not Russia, maltesecat! I really do want to like the place but life in Russia is seriously hard which is why masses of people leave it every year I suppose. Not sure if you will find it an improvement on NZ (widespread alcoholism, the extent and openness of prostitution, homeless dc, corruption, crime, etc). Might be interesting for a year or so but hard to imagine settling there. What are you going to do there?

MrsMushroom Sun 03-Feb-13 13:24:19

I disagree that Australia has a better standard. I've lived there and recently went back. It's cleaner than the UK sure...but there are other things which are far more important in my mind and which are done badly or not at all.

Their education system is lacking. They have some shocking policies re Aboriginal people and they also keep asylum seekers in shipping containers on some Godforsaken island in the middle of nowhere...including children.

I can't cope living in a rich country in 2013 where so many attitudes belong in another century.

MrsMushroom Sun 03-Feb-13 13:28:20
AmberSocks Sun 03-Feb-13 13:32:28

i want to find whatever island they are stranded on in The Blue Lagoon and live on there,i can grow hair to my waist and run around topless like Brooke Sheilds.

One can dream!

MrsMushroom Sun 03-Feb-13 13:58:43

And get stung in the foot by some evil fish Amber or starve when the weather's bad!

Oh and have rotten teeth...and scurvy if the coconut crop fails. grin

Mosman Sun 03-Feb-13 14:02:16

I'm so glad somebody agree's with me with regards to the Australian education system. I have been genuinely shocked at the so called best performing schools, ofsted would have had them for breakfast.

MrsMushroom Sun 03-Feb-13 14:07:10

I know Mosman it's shocking how much they're unaware of over there friends who live over there (I have a lot) are not all ignoran abut it but one told me that schools do not teach Aboriginal they don't tell the kids about the Stolen Generation etc.

Apparently they've JUST changed the law to say that teachers who CHOOSE to may teach about it. hmm

ivykaty44 Sun 03-Feb-13 22:11:00

Strange when I visited Copenhagen the slums were a tourist attraction...

andubelievedthat Mon 04-Feb-13 02:29:58

in total agreement with Determinedma (i currently live in Scotland,groan !) do not be fooled with the "In Scotland everything is free" headlines , perhaps today ,yes, only those bills will have to be paid one day and that day is very fast approaching >oil revenue ? there is little ! and be aware theSNP are merely tories in kilts!.Living in Scotland is as how i would imagine living in the 18th century ,in slow motion inblack and white !

BadLad Mon 04-Feb-13 02:36:15

I love the way Sweden is ruled out because of its high suicide rate and then the next post suggests Japan.

Since I've lived in Japan, 30,000 people here have committed suicide every year, except last year when it was a shade under.

Maybe I should leave.

I wouldn't recommend Japan. The quality of houses is completely shit. Tiny, freezing in winter and sweltering in summer. I was warmer in my own flat in Russia than here.

It is possible to have a very good life in Dubai, although life is getting worse and less comfortable than it was.

Mosman Mon 04-Feb-13 03:08:43

It is possible to have a very good life in Dubai, although life is getting worse and less comfortable than it was.

I think that's everywhere ow though, there's less resources, less money and those who can control what gets filtered down to the masses will. Call it greed, protecting your own whatever.

BadLad Mon 04-Feb-13 03:21:44

That's true. It's just that the change is so drastic in Dubai. My parents moved there in the 70s, and the rate of change there is staggering. It was nice until about the early 90s, then immense greed took over.

And my last post looks as if I am criticising the posters who talked about Sweden and Japan. I wasn't - I just chuckled at the juxtaposition of those two posts.

trustissues75 Mon 04-Feb-13 04:08:31

All politicians lie. Everywhere. I still thing that we're incredibly lucky in this country.

Also, if you decide to emigrate and you have kiddos make sure you feel your marriage is rock solid...returning home with the kids is not half as easy as people think from a legal standpoint.

My dad spends a lot of time in Singapore with work he is raves on about it . Apparently he would love to live there - what about that OP?

I always fancy moving abroad not because i have a problem with this country - i just would like to try out somewhere else as well. but I'm not sure what country would have us!

Dh is a developer/ programmer so A country where computery people are needed plus a country that likes children I feel like 5 children may put countries off letting us in. I'm not bothered about weather I'm not a particular sun lover. We run our own business which employs 3 people most of our clients are abroad anyway so our client base would move its us as its totally online. - are little businesses in demand anywhere - probably not!

Who can suggest my perfect country?!

Morloth Mon 04-Feb-13 06:26:02

I think it would be a better bet to try and make your home country a better place to live, rather than run away.

As cory says, the people who are trying to get away from problems usually just take them with them.

By all means travel and explore (we have, almost 15 years as expats in various places), but the grass is not any greener.

All countries have their pros and cons, because all people have their pros and cons.

ben5 Mon 04-Feb-13 06:33:41

Perth Australia is a great place to live although its a chilly sunny and 30* c today but the kids have gone back to school today so who care about the weather !!!!

CheerfulYank Mon 04-Feb-13 06:54:52

The US of course :D

CheerfulYank Mon 04-Feb-13 06:55:08

Damn! grin

Morloth Mon 04-Feb-13 07:05:26

No no, Australia is a barren wasteland, full of spiders and snakes and racists...

Very dangerous.

Also 23 million is enough, thank you very much, I like lots of space.

While it's true every place has its pros and cons, I don't agree that this is a reason not to move anywhere else. We all have different priorities and preferences so surely some pros and cons are more bearable than others?

For example, we rent, and probably will do for a long time. So we are much happier living in a country with strong tenants rights, we have a lot more security and a better standard of living for the money we pay.

This goes as well to the point about not expecting the state to provide and improving your own life. I think there are limits to this. It's not about the state providing in terms of benefits, but the laws and policies they make can have a huge impact on you. Tenants rights is a good example of this too. Also things like the cost of childcare, which is regulated by the state -- we have a lot more disposable income because of this.

Basically I don't think it's wrong or naive for the OP to think they might have a better life somewhere else. It's entirely possible, depending on what her priorities are.

specialsubject Mon 04-Feb-13 09:39:19

I await news on the OPs perfect country with interest -because I think this thread has proved that it doesn't exist. There are some serious shitholes though.

What does get right up my nose is those who complain about the UK's 'sedentary indoor lifestyle'. It is only so for those too idle and too precious to go outside. Take a coat if it looks like rain, open the front door and pass through it.

LurkingBeagle Mon 04-Feb-13 09:58:18

Reading this thread with interest....I recently joined the ex-pat crowd in the Middle East. I left the UK because of tax. More specifically, I felt pretty aggrieved over the treatment of an elderly relative by the NHS (appalling) and the fact that I could not get cancer treatment or proper follow-up when I desparately needed it. I decided at that point that I would no longer keep my end of the "deal" either! I had been a HR taxpayer for 15 years. I still pay NI in the UK but my earnings here are tax-free (and the local population still get free schools and hospitals).
Ironically (and I appreciate that this is not a view shared by the majority of MN'ers) replacing the NHS with something better (like the French or Swiss system) is probably the only thing that might persuade me to come back.
My advice to the OP is to go (!) but look carefully into where your skills are needed because many countries have fairly exacting requirements. Even the most optimistic commentators seem to think the future is in the east, not the west, so it made sense to me to get out while the going was still (relatively) good.

Emsmaman Mon 04-Feb-13 10:14:30

Not true that you don't get taught about Aboriginal history - well I don't recall being taught in primary but definitely in secondary. We learnt about the stolen generation, and amongst other things were shown a "dramatisation" of aboriginals being buried up to their neck by the british and having their heads lopped off "polo style" by brits on horseback.

Pedallleur Mon 04-Feb-13 10:36:09

Depends what you want. Monaco has no tax, lots of surveillance and is great if you are rich. Norway and Iceland are rated as two of the best countries for quality of life (worth reading on Wiki) but not if you don't like cold and long winters. Switzerland is nice, low taxes etc but it might not suit you. A friend of mine lives in Spain and loves it but he speaks the language and accepts the flaws.

Paiviaso Mon 04-Feb-13 10:41:18

On my Facebook, full of friends from Canada and the US (where I've previously lived), are occasional posts about corruption and lying politicians. Funny, none of these politicians are British!

I now live in the UK, and never want to leave. I love it here. All in the eye of the beholder I suppose!

I think you should only move to a new country because you are really interested in that country's culture and lifestyle. Moving to a new country is hard. You will be a foreigner, you will be homesick. And your new country will not be perfect. They will do things differently, and you will not think these are all changes for the better. I think moving to a new country solely with the expectation that it will somehow be better than your previous first world western European home is setting yourself up for failure.

LurkingBeagle Mon 04-Feb-13 10:52:33

Don't agree Paiviaso - I have never once been homesick since moving abroad. My only regret is not doing it when I was 10 years' younger! grin I also feel very welcome and not at all "foreign" - maybe because there are so many ex-pats here.
The most striking thing about the UK when I visit as a non-resident is the amount of dog sh*t everywhere, the crime, the hellish overcrowding, more badly-behaved children and the ridiculous cost of everything!

CoteDAzur Mon 04-Feb-13 10:55:06

Monaco is great even if you are not rich. No need to be rich to enjoy its perfect weather by the Mediterranean, its safety, high-standard & free education, no traffic and no pollution. Not paying up a major chunk of your income to the state is really nice, too. No tax when selling your car, either.

And if the bread-earner is employed with a salary, family gets several hundred Euros per month *per child* from the state, plus cash before holiday periods.

The only inconvenience really is high rents, which means most people live in smallish apartments. Sort of like in Central London or in Manhattan, I suppose.

AmberSocks Mon 04-Feb-13 11:10:40

MrsMushroom-i forgot about that wierd fish!haha

I wouldnt mind rotten teeth.Maybe we could live there but have a boat to get to somewhere with dentists and seeds? :-)

AmberSocks Mon 04-Feb-13 11:12:06

can i justsay,just becausekids arent taught about something in school doesnt mean you can tell them about it yourself,education shouldnt stop with the school imo.I know loads of people who live in australia now and they love it and are very impressed with the schools.

Paiviaso Mon 04-Feb-13 11:12:59

LurkingBeagle surely your experience is unusual. I think it's a bit irresponsible to disagree and tell the OP she wont feel homesick, because I really don't think that is the norm.

oldebaglady Mon 04-Feb-13 11:18:41

I never felt homesick for my home country either, I'm not really a "homebody" I know lots of people like me, IMO the homesick type of people stick together in homesick groups of ex pats which makes their experience less rich, and the homesick cycle continues.

If you're a positive type of person you can make the most of wherever you are (within reason obv) But that includes where you moved from too!

LurkingBeagle Mon 04-Feb-13 11:22:12

Paivaiso - where do I tell the OP that she won't be homesick?? confused I simply said I wasn't. Not even remotely. Ever.

I agree with oldebaglady - emigration (like life) is what you make it! And there are plenty of reasons to leave Blighty at the moment (and diminishing returns for those sticking it out).

Paiviaso Mon 04-Feb-13 11:28:06

LurkingBeagle I had been talking about some of the less fun aspects of moving to another country and you replied, "Don't agree Paiviaso..."


LurkingBeagle Mon 04-Feb-13 11:34:23

Oh FGS...

You said to the OP "you will be homesick"

I said "I don't agree" because I am not, and have never been, homesick. In fact, none of my close friends are either - we have discussed this very same issue.

Then you said I was irresponsible for telling the OP she won't feel homesick (but presumably it's okay to tell her that she will!)

Paiviaso Mon 04-Feb-13 11:36:41

I think it's more likely she will then she wont.

CoteDAzur Mon 04-Feb-13 11:40:43

And you know that because you know the OP so well? hmm

LurkingBeagle Mon 04-Feb-13 11:42:59

Really? I don't think either of us have the faintest idea do we?

I suspect the likelihood of feeling homesick is directly proportional to how sick and fed up a person is with the "home" country. I couldn't wait to leave, now the sun shines every day, I have a beautiful apartment and a tax free salary that means I can pay off my mortgage in a few years. I honestly think I would need to be lobotomised before I could contemplate living back in the UK in its current state.

GothAnneGeddes Mon 04-Feb-13 11:43:01

I much prefer it when people talk about the good and bad points of living in country. To claim that somewhere is all good or all bad is silly.

I also feel a bit uneasy at those gloating about paying little tax where they live now, because they're usually living in a country where social inequality and poverty are rampant.

Paiviaso Mon 04-Feb-13 11:58:56

Basically I'm concerned that the OP is getting a lot of "It's great, move abroad" comments from a few, when in reality moving abroad can be frustrating, expensive, and demoralising.

It was easy enough for me, as I moved in my early 20s when I had no assets and to simply "give it a try," I didn't need to worry about visas, had no boyfriend or dependents, obviously spoke the language and had an English mother so was familiar with some customs but I still had times in the first couple of years when I was frustrated, confused, and missed my family. I can only imagine how much harder the whole thing is if you have assets, family, don't know anyone, need visas, or don't speak the local language.

My one comment mentioning possible negatives was instantly disagreed with, so I want to reinforce to the OP this is not a simple thing she is thinking of undertaking - and that she might surprise herself and miss her home country and the people in it smile

LurkingBeagle Mon 04-Feb-13 12:05:20

And ime, remaining in he UK can also be frustrating, expensive and demoralising.

The point is, we can all only speak from our own experience. There is no point trying to extrapolate your experience (or mine) to the OP because her view will be different from both of us. It's unsurprising that a topic such as this attracts comment from people who have made the leap, have no regrets, and want to encourage the OP to make the leap of faith it involves (because guess what? If you hate it, you can come back!) grin

And this is a forum on which disagreement is, you know, allowed..... shock

CoteDAzur Mon 04-Feb-13 12:19:21

"uneasy at those gloating about paying little tax where they live now, because they're usually living in a country where social inequality and poverty are rampant"

Sounds like you are coming from a position of ignorance, and that should be making you uneasy more than anything imho.

You have maybe heard about Dubai and now you think all tax havens must be like that? You are wrong.

GothAnneGeddes Mon 04-Feb-13 12:27:51

Haha! Yes, I'm squirming in my seat with shame Cote.

I was talking in general terms. I am aware that Monaco has very low levels of poverty.

However, I think tax havens are extremely unethical and I would find the level of extravagance on display in Monaco to be very distasteful and frankly, obscene.

CoteDAzur Mon 04-Feb-13 12:31:18

It has little to do with ethics. When a country is so small, it doesn't need an awful amount of money for infrastructure etc. If it can raise whatever is needed through VAT and a small corporate tax (5%, iirc), why should they need to tax people's income? To make English people feel better about the tax they are paying? hmm

RichManPoorManBeggarmanThief Mon 04-Feb-13 12:34:13

The other thing about low tax economies is that there are often other costs to balance it out. HK has a flat tax rate of 17% (and does have a welfare state- it's NHS is comparable to the UK, schools are pretty good, there is public housing which is almost free if you are on a low income- I'd rather be poor in HK than the UK) BUT private housing costs are 2-3x central London, so basically if you take tax and housing together, you are evens. You need to figure these things out before you ship your whole family there

LurkingBeagle Mon 04-Feb-13 12:37:54

Cote is right - I am in the ME and the government here does raise tax, it just does not tax personal income (for locals or expats). It is the locals who benefit - through schools, infrastructure, hospitals, etc - from the revenue raised. I don't think that's "unethical" at all - surely fiscal policy is for the country itself rather than you to decide?

Mosman Mon 04-Feb-13 12:39:32

I know loads of people who live in australia now and they love it and are very impressed with the schools.

I think it depends what you've come from, if you've had a great "outstanding" school in the UK it's going to make the Aussie ones look quite poor, standards vary massively and it's pot luck.
My little ones teacher seems nice, so day 1 was a success but we'll see, last year was a shower of shite and the teacher loosing my child seems to have been brushed under the carpet.

It depends, if these tax havens encourage tax evaders from other countries and aren't accountable for it.

CoteDAzur Mon 04-Feb-13 12:40:53

Encourage? How?

By making it easier to get up residency or opening bank account. Search, for instance Switzerland and Italian tax evaders.

LurkingBeagle Mon 04-Feb-13 12:44:12

Accountable to whom? confused
In many cases, the UK government has bilateral tax treaties with the relevant countries. (I believe that is even the case with the UAE which does not tax personal income.) Surely it cannot be "evasion" if the government has given its blessing?

for instance. To the countries money is taken out from.

LurkingBeagle Mon 04-Feb-13 12:52:19

But if that money has never been liable to tax in that particular country, it's not being "taken" is it? It's money that the Exchequer is not, and never was, entitled to receive (but arguably would be, if the tax regime were different).

I know it's semantics, but it used to wind me up no end when Brown was going on about "taking money out of the economy" when he meant "adopting a more favourable tax position"...

In the case of Italy, there are many loops which allow you to not declare how much money you are making, for instance, and take it to the safety of Swiss banks.
Tax evasion is one of the major problems of Italy. I am aware that Britain has different policies. This doesn't mean that other countries don't suffer from money being illegally siphoned to tax havens.

LurkingBeagle Mon 04-Feb-13 13:03:16

There is a world of difference between "illegal" activities (e.g. failing to declare, or falsely declaring, turnover and siphoning it off to Swiss banks), and deciding to live in a country because its personal tax regime is more favourable, where that fiscal regime itself has the "blessing" of the UK government by virtue of a bilateral tax treaty. I think we can all agree that the first one is bad (!) but really, you are comparing apples and oranges...

CoteDAzur Mon 04-Feb-13 13:06:43

Franca - I'm not sure what you mean by "making it easier to get residency or open bank account". Anyone can get residency anywhere, if they work in that country, or have enough means to live there for the foreseeable future. How is that supposed to "encourage" tax evasion?

Springdiva Mon 04-Feb-13 13:08:31

I like Australia but was in Queensland recently and the air was hazy due to bush fires, and then there's been floods (with deaths), tornadoes and of course the spiders, snakes and jellyfish, oh and sharks aren't welcoming. I had a holiday there years ago and nobody was swimming in the sea, just in the pool, there were emergency bottles of vinegar ( I think ) so you could treat yourself if stung by a stingray!

Shame, as the sunshine and people are good.

CoteDAzur Mon 04-Feb-13 13:09:25

"In the case of Italy, there are many loops which allow you to not declare how much money you are making, for instance, and take it to the safety of Swiss banks. Tax evasion is one of the major problems of Italy."

Then shouldn't Italian government plug those tax loopholes? It seems unreasonable to blame other countries for letting Italians live there.

Lurking, in fact, I wasn't commenting on your personal position or choice to live somewhere with a more favourable tax regime. I merely pointed out that often tax havens that offer a good quality of life have a drawback, and that is to attract money from countries not as solid as the UK.

Cote see the link.

Of course Italian governments should! But Swiss banks should cooperate too!

Morloth Mon 04-Feb-13 13:18:43

I get homesick for more than one country these days. It is odd.

DS1 was in an ofsted outstanding school in London, I am just as happy with the school here in Sydney. Am certainly a lot happier with the culture of freedom and independence his school here encourages. It took me a while for me to let go of the UK acquired overprotectiveness.

Pros and cons, will be different for each person. Dangerous wildlife is a pro for me, I like snakes and spiders, and great whites, probably a con for most though.

I was taught about aborignal history when I was at school backin the 80s.

I miss London fiercely some days. New York is next for us when the boys get a bit older.

I wonder if I am maybe mixing homesickness with wanderlust?

The OP should definitely go and have an adventure, but there isn't any country in the world that gets it right for everyone, all of the time.

CoteDAzur Mon 04-Feb-13 13:20:36

Cooperate how? Refuse to open bank accounts for Italian nationals?

If you have loopholes in tax legislation, than means those Italians aren't committing any crimes when taking money out of the country. Make it illegal, then you can ask for cooperation in bringing criminals to justice.

Morloth Mon 04-Feb-13 13:21:10

Jellyfish not sting rays.

Sting rays stab you, not sting.

Ever seen a sunset through a bushfire haze? Is astonishing.

GothAnneGeddes Mon 04-Feb-13 13:21:16

Monaco was only removed from the OECD's blacklist of uncooperative tax havens in 2009.

As for which ever nameless ME country Lurking lives in, I can see why you think everything should be left up to government, it's not as if the people get much say in what they do, is it?

CoteDAzur Mon 04-Feb-13 13:23:48

So what, Goth? If you were trying to back up your earlier assertion that it is unethical for a state to take no income tax from its residents, I don't think you managed it.

SarahBumBarer Mon 04-Feb-13 13:26:45

Australia consistently outperforms the UK on the question of standards of education (also healthcare, life expectancy etc). It is actually much less pot-luck than the UK. People may find better schools in the UK (after deliberately researching and moving into a decent catchment area or paying for it) but you are far less likely to end up in an under-performing school in Australia. University entry system is much fairer too. That's what happens when you invest your tax take in your education/healthcare systems etc rather than servicing your deficit.

Australia has pretty much every climate going - there are whole areas where people have never seen a snake/poisonous spider etc other than on TV.

Also, with regard to the next election, the Liberals are about as Tory as the US democrats are socialist.

stubbornstains Mon 04-Feb-13 13:28:31

I think the OP is to be commended. She has said that she is personally well off, but is worried about what the cuts are doing to those less fortunate than herself.

Please stay here OP! We need people like you- such selflessness is pretty rare. Although I really don't think Dubai is for you if you're worried about social inequality.

Myself, I would go to France. I've been toying with it for years. But it's a country where you need to put a lot in to get a lot out, including, as a newly arrived self employed person, paying tax on income you haven't yet earnt, which rules it out for me until my income has increased.

It is already illegal!!! Swiss banks, for instance, don't share information with investigating teams, see the link.

LurkingBeagle Mon 04-Feb-13 13:39:31

As for which ever nameless ME country Lurking lives in, I can see why you think everything should be left up to government, it's not as if the people get much say in what they do, is it?

GothAnne - everything you post simply convinces me that you have never visited this region, or bothered to read anything about it (except maybe some tripe in the Guardian!). It's rather colonial to dismiss the way other countries choose to run their own affairs - fiscally or otherwise. In fact local people here can access healthcare of a standard people in the UK can only dream of, are given preferential status in recruitment by foreign companies, and receive a lump sum every time they have a child. Conversely, immigrants who lose their jobs have to leave, and it's impossible to get citizenship. I am not saying I agree with all those things, but it's not up to me is it? Living here is a tax-free, crime-free place in the sun is bliss, and it's a compromise I am prepared to make.

GothAnneGeddes Mon 04-Feb-13 13:41:15

Cote - Countries that have very low rates of tax either have high social inequality, or in the case of Monaco, have been funded by more dubious sources of income (hence being on the OECD blacklist).

I think I've made my point perfectly well.

Pigsmummy Mon 04-Feb-13 13:43:43

Canada is special, Toronto especially. For the price of a house here you could get a city dwelling and a "cottage" on the lake or mountain (depending if you like skiing/hiking or water side living). They call it a cottage but really they mean their second home. "cottages" can be apartments, chalets, houses etc. You can finish early on a Friday and head there, families have a great quality of life.

I was struck by much happier everyone was there compare to my London colleagues, I would have taken up the offer to relocate to our Toronto office but my Mum was ill and now circumstances have changed.

CoteDAzur Mon 04-Feb-13 13:49:31

Franca - I have read that link, now for the 3rd time, and can't find where it supposedly says Swiss banks don't give info to Italian police.

I suppose that is what you mean by "investigating teams". If there is a crime, police would be involved, and repatriation of the criminal would be demanded.

Anyway, I think your understanding of this issue is incorrect. Switzerland used to distinguish between tax evasion and tax fraud, and only cooperate with investigations into the latter. Since 2009, I think you will find that they cooperate also with investigations into tax evasion for foreign nationals.

Is this still not acceptable? Would you like to try to prevent Italians from becoming Swiss?

CoteDAzur Mon 04-Feb-13 13:59:47

"Countries that have very low rates of tax either have high social inequality, or in the case of Monaco, have been funded by more dubious sources of income"

Your self-assurance in view of an almost-complete lack of information is quite astonishing shock

Monaco's income is mainly from VAT (~ 20%), i.e. from consumption rather than the money you earn but don't spend. Also, about 25% of the country's income is from tourism (Yacht Show, F1 Grand Prix, etc).

"I think I've made my point perfectly well."

It's a bit sad that you seem to think so, but hey ho smile

GothAnneGeddes Mon 04-Feb-13 14:05:18

Right. So the OECD blacklisted Monaco just for a lark then?

And all that money spent on consumption is entirely legally held?

Fine, you are the expert then smile

CoteDAzur Mon 04-Feb-13 14:21:41

Goth - I'm not sure what you are talking about, or even if you know what you are talking about.

"So the OECD blacklisted Monaco just for a lark then?"

From OECD's website:
In a report issued in 2000, the OECD identified a number of jurisdictions as tax havens according to criteria it had established... Seven jurisdictions (Andorra, The Principality of Liechtenstein, Liberia, The Principality of Monaco, The Republic of the Marshall Islands, The Republic of Nauru and The Republic of Vanuatu) did not make commitments to transparency and exchange of information at that time and were identified in April 2002 by the OECD’s Committee on Fiscal Affairs as unco-operative tax havens. All of these jurisdictions subsequently made commitments and were removed from the list of unco-operative tax havens. ... As a result, no jurisdiction is currently listed as an unco-operative tax haven by the Committee on Fiscal Affairs.

So there is no such list now because nobody is on it. What on earth are you talking about? hmm

"And all that money spent on consumption is entirely legally held?"

What does this sentence mean?!? (Is it even English?)

Not "money spent on consumption". I'm talking about VAT ("Value Added Tax") which is levied on prices everyone is charged. It is tax (so good, by your standards, presumably) so yes it is "legally held" by the state.

... unless you are about to say some states aren't legally entitled to tax revenues if they are not "ethical" enough. Please try to argue this, I'd really love to see it smile

CoteDAzur Mon 04-Feb-13 14:23:24

Franca - I don't think I am an expert, especially on Italian laws.

However, I know quite a bit about finance & banking laws and will happily point out the errors in your posts smile

And, as I said, there was nothing in that link you provided that said Switzerland doesn't cooperate with investigators (as you were claiming).

Thanks, I thought Swiss banks penchant for discretion was known of

ukatlast Mon 04-Feb-13 14:59:50

Since your main source of dissatisfaction seems to be the current Government, can I point out that because you are lucky enough to live in a democracy, you can vote to remove said Government at the next election. They are not ahead in the Polls after all.
I have been an expat in an EU country and in NZ because of my OH's job and can confirm that even with a high expat salary, there is no utopia. The grass isn't always greener and even with a Tory Government, the UK is great.
Most people who leave the UK seem to do so because they read too much Daily Mail and believe it.

CheerfulYank Mon 04-Feb-13 15:02:04

It really depends on what you're looking for.

I live in a small town in the US. People are friendly, houses are big and cheap, lots of land to get outdoors in, safe streets, etc. DH makes decent money. We're not rich by any stretch of the imagination, but here we can live pretty well on what he makes, and our insurance through his job is good. And we always have hot summers for going to lake cabins (everyone's got one) and swimming/boating, yet lots of snow for Christmas. smile

Now, a bustling nightlife, a diverse population...those things we don't have. You can get to them fairly easily, but it's not a daily thing.

I have friends who live in the city in apartments much smaller and more expensive than my house. They make more money but it doesn't go as far, yet it's worth it to them for the culture, etc.

It's all what you're looking for personally. So if you really want to move I'd look at the top things that are important to you and find a country that's strong in those areas. Because nowhere is absolutely perfect. smile

glastocat Mon 04-Feb-13 15:13:16

No where is perfect, and different people like different things, and in my case I seem to like different things at different stages of life. After a hugely dull childhood and uni in a very lovely but troubled country (Ni) I couldn't wait to get out! I spent my 20s and early 30s having a blast in London, but when I had a baby wanted something different so moved to Cork. We've been here for ten years and it has been lovely, especially being on the same island as family (albeit 300 miles away from mine!). But on Wednesday we are off again, to Australia this time! We are lucky to have permanent residency, and are really looking forward to leaving behind the terrible economy here, and of course the weather. I have never been homesick in my life, I wouldn't even know where to be homesick for! grin I have never been a homebody, there is a big beautiful world out there and I want to experience it to the full. We are already joking that we fancy Italy when we retire!

littlecrystal Mon 04-Feb-13 15:54:03

I am not from the England, but have been settled here for the last decade. I love it. I feel like I was born here. I even love the weather, especially those cloudy chilly days – no joke here. I would burn alive in a sandy sunny beach.

I considered moving to the U.S.A., Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, Kenya, Singapore for work and life but in the end decided that I will not find better anywhere else.

I am not sure what everyone else is complaining about?

stubborn Actually they've changed the self-employment rules in France -- now you register as an auto-entrepreneur and you just pay a flat 23% on your actual earnings. So no taxes until you're earning.

slug Mon 04-Feb-13 17:04:27

Country corruption index Looks like Denmark, Finland or NZ are your best options.

I have thought about it and I think that I would happily move:
- back to the UK (London)
- Amsterdam
-San Sebastian
- Copenhagen

Please note that all these places share a kind of weather that would make me pretty miserable grin. Still. They are nice.

stubbornstains Mon 04-Feb-13 19:31:39

dreaming grin

(off to look for passport) sounds so much sexier than self-employed!

stubborn I know, it sounds faintly erotic doesn't it??? Ah the French grin

PM me if you decide to go ahead with it, although they have massively streamlined the process it's still a lot of paperwork, although now you can do everything online instead of traipsing around various offices

cory Tue 05-Feb-13 18:33:41

Just checked out international suicide rates and they make rather interesting reading.

According to WHO information the top countries of the world for suicide are South Korea, Lithuania, Guayana, Kazakhstan, Belarus, China, Japan, Hungary, Latvia, Sri Lanka, Russia and the Ukraine. A lot of the highest rates are found in the former Eastern bloc.

The only Scandinavian country that makes it into the top 30 is Finland (as no 19); Norway and Denmark are no 35 and 36 respectively.

The UK is no 38, a good deal lower than France (24), not to mention Belgium (16).

Sweden is way down the list as no 91.

There are other disadvantages to living in Sweden: they take their shoes off and eat pickled fish and you will have to spend endless hours admiring their DIY. But they don't really commit suicide much.

honeytea Tue 05-Feb-13 19:19:48

The problem in Sweden is that when people commit suicide (in Stockholm at least) they seem to choose to do it at rush hour by throwing themself on the train tracks. The public transport system then fails and the trains start going to random places. It feels like there is a high suicide rate even though it is maybe only 2-3 times a year that it happens.

E320 Tue 05-Feb-13 19:30:51

Have lived in Germany for 25 years & feel very at home. Great weather and lifestyle, food has improved immeasurably over time, wonderful, local ingredients etc. etc.
Just spent 18 months in Zurich for work. Dreadful. Police state.
BUT wherever you live, it is what YOU make of it, not what it "offers".
Persoally, if I had to relocate it would be to Luxembourg or Alsace.

stubbornstains Tue 05-Feb-13 19:47:44

You might get a message in about 5 years dreaming, when you've forgotten all about this convo!

Sadly, I think I have to start making a good profit here first, certainly enough to be able to buy a camper van for some big investigative forays....and then try and build up contacts in France whilst remaining here for a bit.

And then persuade DS, who would be 8 by then hmm...

And I've just got a new boyfriend, who has never even been to France...

God, 20 years ago, I'd have just gone. (Mind you, I did. But then I came back...)

specialknickers Tue 05-Feb-13 21:01:06

The Netherlands is amazing. Weather's just as rubbish as ours, but here's what you get: cycle lanes, good looking people, a great work/life balance, top quality private health care (financed, for the poor, by the state, genius idea), fair taxation, great social responsibility, everyone speaks English, less loutishness, more fun. I've lived in seven different countries and it was by far the most civilised. Plus - tis only 50 minutes back to the Uk when you're feeling home sick and best of all, you can still get all the bbc tv channels.

I literally miss it every day.

BadLad Thu 07-Feb-13 00:37:19

The problem in Sweden is that when people commit suicide (in Stockholm at least) they seem to choose to do it at rush hour by throwing themself on the train tracks.

Same for Japan

grovel Thu 07-Feb-13 10:54:07

The big downside to Sweden is that they use much dill in their cooking. Uuuuurgh!

comingintomyown Thu 07-Feb-13 11:13:51

OP YABU and childish , I completely agree with Cloudsandtrees post some way back.

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