See UK facing middle-class brain drain as professionals seek better lives abroad - Telegraph Half the high emigration of UK citizens is among managerial and professional workers,a brain drain. An important motive for them is the low cost of living and low taxes abroad.
An interesting question is what comparisons can be made with Irish emigration.Clearly,many Irish are emigrating just to find work. But even in the economic boom when jobs were plentiful,there was steady emigration of about 25,000 a year. Were they typically footloose Irish seeking improved career opportunities or joining numerous relatives and friends in the Irish diaspora?
Could some of those emigrating today be in highly paid occupations fleeing high Irish income taxes and cost of living like their UK counterparts? Irish income taxes are far more punitive than UK high income taxes.At least in the UK,the last budget signalled a welcome change in direction with a cut of 5 percentage points in the top income tax rate to 45% and a promise to restore the top 40% rate in time. As for cost of living,Ireland may now have an advantage in housing and rents compared to the UK, given the collapse in Irish housing prices.
If the government wants to avoid an emigration brain drain coupled with a decline in skilled immigration,especially among multinational company skilled workers,it ought to hold out the hope of tax cuts in uncompetitive top income tax rates. There is no point in raising taxes if in the long run people emigrate to avoid tax, cut back on working hours and curb business expansions that create jobs.