Tax and red tape set to drive more Britons to a life abroad

The number of wealthy Britons who move abroad is set to increase over the next two years, a survey revealed today, amid concerns over infrastructure, red tape and taxes.

Some 19 per cent of people with savings and investments worth more than £250,000 are considering moving overseas, up from 17 per cent six months ago and 14 per cent a year ago, Lloyds TSB International Wealth said.

The new figure suggests that more than half a million people with that level of personal wealth may leave the UK in the next two years.

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Investing in better infrastructure is seen as the most important way to make the UK a more attractive place to live, with 61 per cent of wealthy people choosing this option, Lloyds said.

But cutting regulatory red tape for businesses, lowering taxes and improving public services were all high on the agenda.

Nicholas Boys Smith, director at Lloyds TSB International Wealth, said the number of people expected to leave the UK includes a “large number of successful, affluent individuals who play an important role in powering the UK economy”.

He said: “While the figures strongly suggest we won’t see a mass exodus, it is clear that a significant and growing minority see opportunity and a better quality of life overseas.”

Crime and anti-social behaviour is the most popular reason for people to contemplate leaving the UK, chosen by 56 per cent of those considering leaving in the next two years. However, this is a significant fall of 5 per cent from the last survey.