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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!

chloeb2002 Sun 18-Aug-13 04:43:15

Mossman my ds went to daycare. From two years old. I got the childcare Ben. I work dh works. We received correctly the childcare benefit. On a 457 you are a resident for tax purposes. That's the eligibility. We were on a 457. I know of three other families I work with who also on 457 and get childcare benefit. My facts are right.
I use my au pairs for childcare. Love it. It is quite common place to have an au pair for childcare.

GertBySea Sun 18-Aug-13 04:53:08

Ha! My heart bleeds for the MD of Coles grin. And he has brough such innovation to the brand. Coles Finest , however did he think of that....?!

I am really surprised about the childcare benefit/rebate for 457 visa holders too. But doesn't sound as though the OP is going to use it anyway.

saffronwblue Sun 18-Aug-13 05:11:30

OP have a look at this link for fresh deliveries.

Sydney is a fabulous place to live and now is the time for your DH to negotiate for everything he can...

saffronwblue Sun 18-Aug-13 05:12:06


GertBySea Sun 18-Aug-13 05:38:32

There used to be a great tax break for expats, called LAFHA (Living away from home allowance), which they have now done away with. I think your DH should still ask for some kind of living or rental assstance from his employer, or a sizeable relocation allowance that you might like to use not only on relocating, but also to put towards rent at the start, while you are finding your feet and everything is a bit more expensive. You know, when you have to buy new everything for the house, like cleaning products, bulbs, lamps etc.

I agree with Saffron that your DH needs to be asking for everything now and since there there is no more LAFHA (which his employer will have heard of), his salary needs to account for the additional expenses that will doubtless be incurred (trips home, paid childcare since no longer any family support, paying annual state school fees unless you have PR by then or they change the law in NSW etc).

Was also thinking that you could look at for rental prices.

And finally, almost all rentals are unfurnished. Somehow we didn't realise this before we arrived, 10 years ago and had a choice of about 3 units in the whole of Sydney, with all our furniture safely stored in the UK...

Anyway. It's the middle of winter, it's 23 degrees and the DC and I are off to the beach. Which is free <whistles happily>

WhereNext Sun 18-Aug-13 06:13:05

We received no childcare rebate whilst on 457, was completely unavailable to us until we had PR ...

Mosman Sun 18-Aug-13 06:34:19

Well if you received the rebates I'm gob smacked because they weren't available in 2000 and they aren't available now. Not sure how you pulled that one off.
Obviously my standards are sky high but I don't consider Childcare beyond babysitting to be the remit of an au pair.

WhatSheSaid Sun 18-Aug-13 06:50:21

<butts in from New Zealand> Does the childcare rebate/457 visa thingy perhaps depend on which state you're in? Maybe that's why people in different states have different experiences?

Mosman Sun 18-Aug-13 06:52:34

No the state makes no difference

AndIFeedEmGunpowder Sun 18-Aug-13 08:27:03

Interesting what you all say about LAFHA, DH texted his old boss and said will there be accommodation/relocation package? and his old boss said yes but clearly we need to clarify!

Thank you for the online shop suggestion- just did one and spent a pretend fortune. Hadn't thought basics like bread and eggs would be so much more - Evidently I would have to meal plan instead of wandering aimlessly round Waitrose. I liked the fresh produce delivery site you linked to saffron, thank you.

Gert thank you for telling me about the unfurnished thing, didn't have a clue! Do you recommend bringing stuff or just going to ikea? I think we would be coming for 1-4 years if that makes a difference.

I think in terms of childcare it would just be occasional babysitters for the next couple of years anyway.

Thank you all so much for this advice. I know everyone experiences things differently and it is very useful to get all your varying perspectives about living in Sydney/Australia in general. smile

AndIFeedEmGunpowder Sun 18-Aug-13 08:29:44

grin at Gert's MIL's cooking!

newbiefrugalgal Sun 18-Aug-13 08:39:23

Once you do land and I hope you do as I think it would be a great adventure. Aussie supermarket shopping is like the uk, you can shop around. You might have aldi close. Fresh markets etc. so always room for keeping bills lower but the Coles online shop will give you worse case scenario -I would out Coles at sainsbury/tesco standard.

newbiefrugalgal Sun 18-Aug-13 08:42:34

Ikea online too -I think it's more expensive. If your work does shipping push for this and being your own stuff.
Unless what you have is impractical and wouldn't suit a new place.
A lot of Sydneysiders live in units and if you are only there for short time I would choose location over home space-size etc.

maffive Sun 18-Aug-13 08:50:53

Does eligibility for child related benefits on a 457 differ if your dc are born here?

Anyway, another Sydneysider here, originally from SE England.

I'm a SAHM, DH earns approx $120k. Mortgage is approx. $2800/month, we spend about $200 a week on food for family of four (Aldi's is walking distance wink). However, although we are not struggling, we live in the western suburbs and don't have much money left over for fun stuff. We only have one car that is 10 years old.

We need a second income, but until DC2 starts school, I'm unlikely to earn enough to cover child care fees and have anything left over.

Despite this, I love Sydney. I even like our suburb, as we have great neighbours, DC1 goes to good local public school, there're good amenities, parks etc. If you're outdoorsy people, you'll love it here. Even if, like us, you can't afford to live in the most popular suburb.

Before we bought our house, we rented in the Inner West. If you decide to move here, I'd definitely recommend focusing on this area for renting. Transport into the city is good (20 mins by train from where we lived). You can still be close to the water as there are lots of harbourside suburbs, and the beach is about 30 mins drive.

GertBySea Sun 18-Aug-13 09:14:15

I would bring your stuff. I can't remember the numbers as it was so long ago, but we stored everything at first and then when I went back for a wedding 9 months later, I organised to ship it. Shipping cost was equivalent to about 4 months of storage, so it just made sense. Plus it meant we could rent a cheaper unit.

We topped up from IKEA and there are a few others a bit like it- Freedom and Fantastic Furniture.

I agree the Inner West is a good starting point. Perhaps look on a map around Five Dock and Haberfield and search on rental properties in those areas as a start. The harbour is so enormous - you should hopefully be able to rent something near to some water if not the actual beach.

LAFHA was a tax concession that has now gone. So if the employer has a bit of a clue and says yes, there will be an allowance, then perhaps that is something they are prepared to give? Obviously you'll need to clarify, but I'm sure you have that in hand.

Mosman Sun 18-Aug-13 09:26:55

My daughter is actually Australian but because I only have the 457 we get nothing. It makes no difference if the kids are born in Australia or mars, the parents status is all that matters and on a 457 you are treated like shit frankly.
DH and I were both made redundant last year, I called centre link and told them I had $200 to fed 4 kids with. They told me there was nothing the could do and to phone relatives in uk, they would actually let our children starve. Seriously.
Australia is lovely and if you have PR and are emigrating I suspect it's a whole different kettle of fish but people coming out here now will have an uphil battle, the Aussies don't want 457 workers, the cost of PR has literally doubled since July and you now have to pay for children and spouses to go on the visa - about $10k in total. Perth is planning to charge four grand each child each year for shockingly shit education. It's like ok I get the hint we're leaving lol

chloeb2002 Sun 18-Aug-13 10:29:57

Just been on centre link web site to check. Yes you get childcare rebate on 457. It is not means tested and is given to anyone who is working and is a resident for tax purposes. We have in real terms found no difference between pr and 457. The biggest advantage was getting paid mat leave as we had pr.
you cannot claim any income from centrelink on a 457 that's income linked. You do get the tax plus of fam part a if you don't work abs have a low income.
What anyone chooses for childcare is there choice. Au pairs work out well for us and many many other people.
I suggest anyone not claiming childcare Ben and is resident for tax looks into it!

Mosman Sun 18-Aug-13 10:55:50

Chloe you are talking absolute rubbish - run any google search and it will confirm this.
Au pairs can only work 30 hours in total in Australia and aren't to be in sole charge for more than two hours at a time.
So basically you'd be breaking their visa terms and behaving irresponsibly leaving an au pair in charge as your sole source of Childcare whilst you work full time.

I'm sorry for the bun fight but I think people need correct information it's hard enough even in possession of the full facts to make a decision of this magnitude.

Mosman Sun 18-Aug-13 10:58:25

Mosman Sun 18-Aug-13 11:01:45

I'm sure people will be smart enough to do their own research and then pop back and confirm I'm right

ifink Sun 18-Aug-13 11:06:45

Yep not met any 457 visa holders saying they can claim the child care rebate in Brisbane. Resident for tax purposes applies to all 457 holders I.e they pay the same rate of taxation as any citizen or pr (even more so now that the lafha is gone), but that's not the point, as a 457 holder you have absolutely no recourse to government benefits...period (bar reciprocal Medicare if a uk national) least that's what I've been told!

AndIFeedEmGunpowder Sun 18-Aug-13 11:21:27

Definitely think it would be an adventure newbiefrugalgal, we've both lived abroad before (although separately and pre DC) and love new experiences. I think we would give it a year-18 months and if it wasn't working for us come home.

Similarly if DH lost his job I think we would come straight back to the UK, although atm I suppose we are more flexible than most as have no school age DC. I understand this isn't possible for others like Mosman and I'm so sorry things have been tough for you, I hope you get to come home soon. The lack of benefits etc. make me even more determined to make sure DH is offered a v. decent salary out there so we would have a cushion if things don't work out, so thanks for the heads up.

AndIFeedEmGunpowder Sun 18-Aug-13 11:27:49

newbie maffive and Gert thanks for the advice on furniture and locations I can look for rentals, even just to get an idea. I have never been to Sydney before and don't have a clue! Maybe I should search for houses-for-rent close to Aldi? grin

Anyway, DH has asked his boss for loads of money so he might laugh in our faces! I am philosophical and either way think it is probably meant to be. Will let you all know how the dice fall when we hear back.

Thanks all smile

GertBySea Sun 18-Aug-13 11:28:20

Ooh ooh, are you a NZ passport holder, Chloe? That would mean you'd get it on a 457?!

GertBySea Sun 18-Aug-13 11:34:07

Sorry, OP. just trying to work out this conundrum. It used to be my field, pre-DC, so am struggling to put it all together. I also think that if a 457 visa loses their job, they get kicked out pretty sharpish - it used to be 28 days and only changed to 90 days on 1 July.

Basically we are in an election year and the Labour Party need to get cash from wherever they can to pay for some of their new promises. Expats who can't vote are an easy target.

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