I am forever being phoned by people wanting to carry out surveys, so it is a relief to discover one that wiill not be troubling me, namely the new Millionaire Monitor survey carried out by Skandia, which has discovered that many of the UK’s millionaires are not happy people.
Whilst the Bible and I could have told them that money does not equate to happiness, perhaps they may be subscribers to the more cynical sentiments encapsulated in the famous anonymous quote:
“Money can’t buy happiness, but it can buy you the kind of misery you prefer.”
Well, it seems that the kind of misery that almost half of the UK’s millionaires prefer may well be non-UK misery, as apparently 45% of them are considering moving away. But before right-wing economists and Chancellors start saying “I told you so”, they might like to look at the reasons why.
Favourite reason is discontent with the government’s economic policies (for heavens’ sake, if millionaires don’t like these, who does?) followed by the promise of a better standard of living abroad and fears about the rising cost of living in the UK. Trailing in fourth is high UK taxation, which casts considerable doubt on George Osborne’s theory that cutting the top rate of tax will keep millionaires onshore.
Regular readers will recall that I have always considered this theory to be highly questionable (which is a polite way of saying rubbish), and this survey appears to confirm that cutting the top rate will not suffice to keep the rich content with life in the UK. I am sure it would be nice to have happy UK millionaires, but why should we expect them to feel any differently to the rest of us?