Cost of living crisis causes mass exodus of Brits – and we’re all going to Oz

The UK is facing a mass exodus of people moving abroad to escape the cost-of-living crisis with Australia the no1 destination.

A study found those searching online for a new life overseas soared by 1,000% last month as price hikes began to bite.

Spiralling utility, tax, fuel and grocery bills sparked a ten-fold increase in Brits searching “move abroad” – the highest level in internet history.

The analysis of Google data revealed a 670% explosion in people researching visas for Australia, making Oz the top destination for Brits seeking a new life.

It raises the spectre of the famous Ten Pound Poms, a term coined for Britons heading Down Under after WW2 in search of a better life.

The migrants were called Ten Pound Poms due to the charge of £10 in processing fees to migrate to Australia in 1945.

It was intended to substantially increase the population of Australia and to supply workers for the country’s booming industries. In return for subsidising the cost of travelling to Australia, the Government promised employment prospects, affordable housing, and a generally more optimistic lifestyle.

Amar Ali, managing director at immigration solicitors Reiss Edwards, which gathered the findings, said: “The British public have been faced with a gradual rise in the cost of living since the pandemic, which has only amplified enormously in the last couple of months, with these new price hikes leading to some British residents to look for an alternative and more affordable country to live in.”

Mr Ali added: “To emigrate abroad can be a very important move for anyone and is a choice that should be well thought out with all the right information, and these findings highlight the scale of Britons looking to make that commitment due to the cost-of-living crisis.

“With the inflation rate in the UK set to continue to rise, it will be interesting to see whether these searches come to fruition and see just how many Britons choose to move away from the UK this year.”

It comes after a wallet-busting 54% rise in the energy price cap, sending gas and leccy bills through the roof, a jump of up to 3% in council tax and an increase in National Insurance.

And a labour shortage, war in Ukraine and supply chain problems have led to a spike in the price of everyday goods, services and groceries.

Inflation could hit 10% this year, according to the Bank of England.

A spokeswoman for Reiss Edwards said: “The analysis reveals that searches for ‘move abroad’ exploded to 10 times the average volume within the past month – an unprecedented increase in Brits looking to emigrate.”

But all is not perfect Down Under either.

Australia’s own cost of living crisis has reached dire heights as soaring prices for everyday items make fresh vegetables more expensive than fast food.

The nation’s annual inflation rate this week jumped to 5.1% – the highest in 22 years – as wage growth stagnates and demand for essential goods outstrips supply due to global and local shortages.

The price crunch has left Aussies paying more while living off stifled pay cheques as Covid continues to impact supply chains, recently flooded harvests see food prices rise and the Ukraine war drives up the cost of petrol.

A head of lettuce at $5.50 is now more expensive than a $4 McDonald’s cheeseburger.

Aussie economist Shane Oliver said the combination of skyrocketing prices and halted salaries means Australians are technically taking a pay cut.

“That means real purchasing power, the amount of goods and services your pay will provide you is actually going backwards,” he said.

Aussie dad-of-two Simon Douglas, 46, from Canberra, said Brits hoping to escape the cost-of-living crisis in the UK should think twice before upping sticks.

He said: “My advice to anyone thinking of moving to Australia from the UK is that they should not expect any silver linings in terms of living standards here in Australia.

“There is a cost-of-living crisis Down Under, too.

“Prices of basic items such as meats, vegetables, bread and cheese have gone up exponentially.

“Wages have remained relatively stagnant, but prices have sky-rocketed.

“The grass is definitely not much greener on the other side of the world.”

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