London vs Sydney salaries advice

(75 Posts)
AndIFeedEmGunpowder Thu 15-Aug-13 07:32:12

We currently live/work in London (zone2) but DH has been offered a job in Sydney by his old boss. I love the idea of a new experience, but having read through all the old threads, I am wary of how expensive Sydney now is.

Old Boss has asked DH for a number. Much as I'd love to go there, only want to do it if we will be better off! Would you just convert the salary he wants or add a bit on? How much higher do you reckon Sydney salaries are than London?

We only have a baby DC so no school to worry about. Any other advice very welcome!

ifink Sun 18-Aug-13 11:40:32

Definitely ensure that your DH's new contract contains a provision as regards dismissal/redundancy during the term of the 457 and the costs of repatriation. Under the visa rules the employer is obliged to pay the costs of travel only bqck to the uk if they end up dispensing with your DH's services ..NOT the costs of your container/breaking the lease on a rental etc. just make sure they agree to pay all associated costs if the worst case happens

Another boring thing but worth thinking about, when on a 457 you are not a resident of oz for lots of things....and equally you are not a 'resident of the UK' either confused. This has repercussions on things like tax free savings and investment products...isas/pensions etc which you will find you can't get or pay into. You lose child benefit immediately. You still have to pay income tax on your UK house if you rent it out although you can opt to declare it in oz and pay the tax here....I could go on....

GertBySea Sun 18-Aug-13 11:53:54

Ah yes but you can get a new kitchen on the UK place and net it off against that rental income when you do your Aussie tax return (done), fix dry rot and do the same (netted off over 6 years), get new boiler (same again)...

Mosman Sun 18-Aug-13 11:56:32

Can you really ?
How does that work - dickhead hasn't put his return in yet
Pm me if that's easier - thank you

GertBySea Sun 18-Aug-13 12:13:43

My DH does my tax return because I am a complete numbers doofus. He is away this week, but I will check the details with him and get back to you. I don't think we have ever paid any tax on the rental income, but then the dry rot was £15K to fix. He just went to the US today and back on Saturday so PM me if I forget.

GertBySea Sun 18-Aug-13 12:25:14
Mosman Sun 18-Aug-13 12:33:00

Thank you - ours has been loosing £900 per month so that might help us out a bit.

Freedom is lovely but expensive - think high Habitat prices. Ikea can be significantly more for the exact same product too.

I spent a lot more time in The Reject Shop and Aldi than I had thought before we went.

Paradoxically I would say that public transport is fairly reasonable in Sydney.

You need to be a whole heap of cautious going over on a 457 - if they make you redundant you have 28 days to find another sponsor or return to the UK (which if you have rented out the house here could make life tricky). I know of three families where this has been the case. Of the three only one is still in Australia. The redundancies seem to occur just before eligibility is earned to get PR.

I don't know about the childcare rebate - I was told that I wasn't eligible in the same state as Chloe, and I worked out that for my two school age children before and after school care would cost $500 a week. (Using school provision and taking into account holiday clubs).

We were in Oz for two years and enjoyed bits of it. My dh is still working out there while he waits for his sector to pick up in the UK. My dc don't want to go back for a holiday though - and though they FaceTime their friends from school they don't ever say they miss it there. They are 8 and 9 and we have been back in the UK for 8 months.

Lots of people love Australia, but there are a significant number who don't. A quick search on PomsInOz shows lots of families returning.

I suppose I am saying be cautious. Don't expect Utopia, it is a country just like any other with its own problems and foibles. Try to remember that as much as the grass may look greener it will still need cutting.

Mosman Sun 18-Aug-13 13:15:05

You may have literally just saved our financial bacon and stbex's life
Thanks so much for that what we are saving in tax we can put towards the bloody Childcare grin

AndIFeedEmGunpowder Sun 18-Aug-13 21:53:01

Thanks for the advice on 457 and money. Our mortgage is quite big so can't see us making much of an income on letting our place anyway but good to know we can offset it if necessary! Hear what you are saying about the grass being greener Scone.

GertBySea Mon 19-Aug-13 05:27:02

mosman, I've PMd you.

Tortoiseonthehalfshell Mon 19-Aug-13 06:00:55

Mosman's childcare doesn't sound expensive at all to me. I have two pre-school-age children in three days a week in Adelaide - which runs quite a lot cheaper - and I pay $500/week before the government rebates. That's 2 children x 3 days x $85, and I know that in Sydney a day's CC is going to be well over $100 for anywhere decent.

Mosman Mon 19-Aug-13 07:37:53

Perths nurseries are $120 a day per child, if you can secure a space. The owner felt sorry for me and reduced it to a mere $102 per day as I'm not entitled to the rebate.
I've let the old three make their own way home on a bus - which I would never in my wildest dreams have done in the UK - not that I feel they are any safer but my hands been somewhat forced becoming a single parent. So they are latchkey kids now, to reduce costs :-(

echt Mon 19-Aug-13 08:24:29

Thinking of the furnishing of rentals, although we were able bring over all our furniture, over time some stuff needed to be replaced.

We were shock at the cost of re-covering a sofa, unwilling to spend big bucks when we hadn't made decorating decisions, so bought a near-perfect Freedom sofa from Vinnies for $100. Go to posh area op shops and you can get some fab bargains. Yard and garage sales can be very good.

Tortoiseonthehalfshell Mon 19-Aug-13 11:45:42

Ah, I see, Mosman. Yes, that's in line with Sydney and parts of Melbourne.

Oh yes, Vinnies smile

Ebay doesn't really work in the same way as here either - i think because distances are so huge and postage is expensive. Gumtree is much much more popular.

PoppyAmex Mon 19-Aug-13 11:54:07

They got rid of LAFHA? Good god, that would make a huge difference for anyone on a 457.

We were there for close to 9 years (just returned 2 years ago) and LAFHA made a fair bit of difference.

I lived in George Street (World Tower and then Lumiere building on George St/Bathurst) so as CBD as it could get and I found the cost of living pretty high compared to the UK.

Having said that, food was good and varied, we ate really well / healthily and everyone in my office went to the gym / for a run at lunchtime and was pretty fit. But like someone said above thread, I also worked in Banking/ Financial Services so maybe that was different?

OP, if I were you I would check the expat forums people mentioned above thread and also the Poms returning to the UK, as their reasons/circumstances might also bring some issues up you didn't consider before.

We had a great time there and a nice lifestyle, but always knew it wasn't a "forever" situation for us as our heart was in Europe.

Poppy - yes indeed. Announced that it was being consulted on in the November, ignored all the consultation by March implemented July.

In the space of 8 months an effective pay cut of 20%. It is partly due to this that we came home. It is cheaper for us to run our UK home and a v.small flat in Perth than a reasonable family home there.

GrandstandingBlueTit Tue 20-Aug-13 08:54:44

Mosman - the au pair situation in New Zealand is obviously quite different from what you know of it in Australia, then. I'm surprised by that...

We use Au Pair Link, and their Core Programme is specifically designed for families with at least one child under 5 (i.e. pre-school).

This programme provides families (who have at least one child under 5) with a quality Early Childhood Curriculum.

If fact, if you have an au pair looking after pre-school children, you are even entitled to the 20 Hours ECE Government subsidy, since this Au Pair agency is a licensed ECE provider.

Au pairs can work for up to 45 hours a week.

All au pairs are vetted and have childcare experience.

Just thought I would get this side of the story over, in case there is any concern. Obviously I can't vouch for all au pairs, nor all agencies. But using an au pair as childcare for young children is a perfectly valid and safe choice. smile

AndIFeedEmGunpowder Tue 20-Aug-13 08:59:58

They said DH wants too much cash and offered almost a third less! So we have decided against going. Bit disappointed, but It is a very long way from home and a lot of upheaval, with, as lots of you have pointed out, not much security if it all goes tits up.

Thank you all SO much for taking the time to give me such brilliant and detailed advice. flowers I really appreciate it and was looking forward to possibly meeting some Sydney Mnetters. Lots of good luck to you all on adventures overseas or returning home. As it must be evening for you, here's some wine

Mosman Tue 20-Aug-13 09:04:39

That's a rather specific program, rather than some girl off gumtree though isn't it ?
The visa requirements of an au pair in Australia would make them a poor substitute for a nanny which many people seem to mistake them for.

GrandstandingBlueTit Tue 20-Aug-13 09:19:39

Well, I'm not defending someone choosing their childcare off Gumtree. But did anyone actually say they did that?

Rather, I was responding to your assertion that an au pair is 'not childcare'. It certainly can be exactly that.

Again, surprised that the visa requirements for au pairs in Aus are so vastly different to NZ...

GrandstandingBlueTit Tue 20-Aug-13 09:20:04

Apols for thread de-railing. smile

WhereNext Tue 20-Aug-13 12:13:11

That must be disappointing, but maybe some relief too at not making a big move!
Lots of luck with your future adventures too smile

AndI, their next move will probably be to offer him parity to the UK. I am 2.5 years wiser than I was and parity is not enough to give the same lifestyle.

AndIFeedEmGunpowder Wed 21-Aug-13 07:51:59

Thanks WhereNext smile.

Yep Scone you were right. Given everything I've read and you guys have mentioned, we would have to drop our standard of living if we made the move on that salary. If we didn't have any DC it might be worth it for the experience alone, but now we have a baby small luxuries and security seem more important. (Gosh I've become boring!) Plus my sister is having a baby, so that's another good reason to stay smile

GrandstandingBlueTit derail away!

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