Thursday, July 16, 2009

Rats Desert City Ship

Almost a third of London's City workers are looking for jobs anywhere but London, according to today's Financial News. The City's history and culture aside, the main reason these people were there to begin with was money. With jobs harder to find, the UK government threatening to crack down on bonuses, and the real threat of a 50% tax band, City workers are taking a harder look at living and working in London. Even if City Boy averages 300,000 pounds per annum that only leaves him with 12,500 a month to spend. The mortgage on his Notting Hill Gate 2 bedroom flat will take 9,000 of that (if he put down the 20% he should have, which he probably didn't). Then factor in nights out at London's most exclusive clubs and dinners at Kensington Place and there is little left for his holidays in Vietnam. FN says that, whereas a London-based banker will receive only 50% of his gross income after tax, in Paris, the comparable figure is 58%; in Frankfurt it’s 60%; and in Zurich it’s 68%. In Singapore it’s more than 80%, and in Dubai it’s more than 95%. Never mind that he will be bored rigid living in any of these places, our City Boy would have enough disposable income to get out on the weekends. London is a remarkable city, full of wonderful museums and restaurants and theatre. But it has become punishingly expensive and the tax burden is untenable. Maybe if more City Boys leave it will become affordable again.

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