Why Millionaires Refuse to Stay in Britain, and What the Government Can Do About It

By Olivia Singh | 25th May 2023

With the cost of living rising, and the lack of good public services, millionaires are leaving Britain and taking their money elsewhere. Tax changes are a major factor contributing to the exodus of millionaires. The rich people of Britain feel that the money they spend in Britain isn’t coming back to them in any way, shape or form. According to an analysis by migration consultancy Henley & Partners, the country has suffered a net outflow of 12,000 millionaires with assets and cash of more than £830,000. 

Britain needs to attract money, not drive it away. The tax rates for the wealthy must be reduced in order to keep them in the UK – there is no reason for them to stay if large sums of their money are given in tax, and even then, they receive bad public services. Luxuries such as admitting kids into private schools and having private healthcare are no longer attractive to the rich – Britain’s shine is fading in their eyes. There is an increasing lack of basic services, such as being able to get a doctor’s appointment on time. Post-pandemic, GPs refuse to see patients and people are forced to fill out e-consult forms instead.  

HMRC states the top 1% of UK earners pay nearly one-third of all the income tax. Is taxing the rich heavily really an effective way to boost the economy? Many argue that it is, however, fail to see that if more wealthy people are heavily taxed and see no quality in public services, they will continue to leave Britain. Due to high tax rates, more and more economically elite Britons are leaving the UK to live in Dubai. Their wealth is not snatched by the government in tax there, and they have a higher quality of life surrounded by culture and tradition. With many millionaires leaving Britain, the average middle-class worker will struggle to fill the tax gap. The government can stop the wealthy from leaving the UK by taking action in a number of different ways: 

  1. Tax rates for middle-class and upper-class workers can be reduced when the economy is more stabilised. This will encourage further growth of businesses. More middle-class workers will be able to save money to start their own businesses, and more upper-class workers will be able to expand their businesses. 
  1. There can be improvements made to the basic services the public is offered. GP appointments are difficult to get even post-pandemic which is unacceptable, and public transportation is extremely inefficient compared to countries like Japan where bullet trains are already being used. 
  1. More tax incentives for entrepreneurs and investors can be introduced if there is no scope to reduce tax rates for them in the near future. 
  1. The government can work harder to improve the country’s political stability by addressing concerns about Brexit. Through good deals and policies, businesses and investors will gain certainty that the UK is one of the best places in the world to do business. 
  1. Improvements in how houses are built can be made. Britain is infamous for its poor-quality housing and even its expensive houses are not impressive in comparison to the rest of the world. The average £2m house in Dubai’s prime locations such as Palm Jumeirah is much better designed and aesthetically pleasing than the average £2m house in London’s prime locations such as Kensington. 
  1. Lastly, there can be a focus on investing in cultural sites and experiences which would help increase the quality of life of the British people. According to a 2020 study by Historic England, heritage sites are significantly reliant on tourism and therefore estimated to recover at a slower pace.  

The government’s priority should be to stop the wealthy from leaving Britain and place them at a greater value so that the economy does not suffer. Once millionaires start to feel valued again in Britain, they will never think of leaving again. 

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