Why I left Ireland

Former public sector worker here. I was on a 4 year minus-a-day contract (you can guess why…). Earning €55k. Even though the money was there to keep me, the contract was allowed expire regardless of the effects on the service. They hired a new contract worker with a different job title.

Moved to UK on 1st January in a very similar public sector job. My sterling equivalent is a bit lower than €55k, but my net take-home is the same as what I was earning in Dublin but in STG. My rent is about a third of what I was paying in Dublin and the rental system here seems to work very efficiently - deposit scheme, contracts enforced, credit checks, prompt dispute resolution, etc.

Here’s a summary of my monthly income/expenditure in Dublin:
net pay: €2,800
rent: €1200 (1-bed flat)
VHI: €120
public transport: €50
road tax: €50
[net pay - rent = €1600 to live off]

And here’s a summary of my monthly income/expenditure in UK:
net pay: £2800
rent: £400 (equivalent 1-bed flat)
VHI: £0
Public transport: £0
road tax: £20
[net pay - rent = £2400]

Shockingly, my net-pay-minus-rent figure has doubled even though my salary is lower! Even more shockingly, €1600 per month to live off for a 40 hour stressful week vs. €800 a month for someone who does nothing on the dole. You would need to be a class A gombeen to be unable to get a €100 cash nixer a few times a month.

Overall, I’m a lot better off now for the same level of work/stress/experience. I’ve gone sale agreed on a house (after 4 months of working here!) which I’m delighted about. (Banks are able to repossess here - if I f*ck up, I know I’m out on the street. The banks know this too. This is why my tracker mortgage is at 1.49% above base rate. I cannot believe how lucky I am.) I can walk to work and I can drive a fast, big engine car without Michael Noonan making feel guilty. I was paying €660 per annum on an old Ford Focus which is a shocking rate of tax compared to the higher quality cars (ex. VRT) available to working people here.

I would encourage others to up sticks and leave. It’s not worth it. I can’t believe I wasted so many years paying into the Irish system. I have begun the process of divesting myself completely from that country. I am loyal to my family and my community, but as far as the “Irish State” is concerned, they can go f*ck themselves. Bitter? Yes. I’ve moved on and don’t plan on going back until things change. I don’t think things will ever change. Unfortunately, the only way the Irish State will learn is to keep doing what it’s doing now: keep screwing over the remaining high quality, productive people until the balance tips and the system implodes. I’m surprised it hasn’t happened already. For every one of me that leaves, it seems there’s three to take my place, claim housing, etc. I understand my landlord is now renting out the flat I used to live in to an African “part-time” taxi driver, his girlfriend and their kid. Good luck to them and those who are paying for it.

I’m sad you feel that way. I can sympathise with a lot of what you have to say.

I hope new life in UK works out really well for you.

Good luck with the new lifestyle.

I assume you didn’t move to London. AFAIK there are no Dublin weightings for public sector jobs, this makes Dublin seem particularly uncompetitive compared to regional UK cities where rents are lower.

No way is this anywhere near London, my old gaff there rents for £1400-1500 a month where it cost me £100 a month in the 1980s. Sounds like Newcastle or Hull TBH where £55k public sector salaries are pretty rare.

If decentralisation had happened, you could have lived down the country with similar income.

It did in parts, mindya Country Tom never got his many hundreds to Birr did he??? Over half the Revenue is in the western half of the country though.

The original decentralisation plan, sprinkling the odd handful of PS workers here, there and everywhere, was mad. Still, moving more of the back office jobs in larger blocks to half a dozen regional cities and large towns might have made considerable sense.

Some of it worked, but it was a ham-fisted effort to get votes more than anything

Another missed opportunity

We had our implosion and nothing of great significance has changed, if and when the next crisis arrives, the out come will be much the same

Decentralising out to the sticks would be very unattractive to me.

The culture and public amenities available where I live now (a large regional city) are of far higher quality than anything in Dublin. The drinking “culture” in Ireland is all very fine (for visitors and the like), but it’s quite suffocating for those who are trapped inside it. I know people who are 40 and still pubbing/clubbing/smoking/drinking and living in shared accommodation with a bank balance of zero at the end of every month.

£55k would be a nice salary alright. But I’ve a good few years to go to increment up to that!

Anyway, I feel like I have a stake in society now. The banks want to lend to me (I couldn’t get a mortgage in Ireland because I was “only” a contract worker), I can buy a proper house with my own four walls (not an “apartment” in a “new” “development”). It’s taken me a while to re-wire my brain to my new loyalties, but it’s been a journey and I’ve come out feeling a lot happier and content as a person. I feel I can utilise my talents much better, actualise and give back to society in a way that I just couldn’t before - the struggling, the bitterness, the corruption, the traffic, the inefficiency, the “sure everyone’s at it”, the knocking off at 3pm on Friday, the nobody cares, the “them and us” mentality between the permanent staff and the contract staff, etc.

Oh come on, give us a list of the cities in UK that facilitate this if there are more than one. Appreciate you don’t want to be identified.

I don’t disagree with your overall outlook. Am strongly considering relocation myself. People have gone mad about housing again and it bothers me greatly.

“Going mad about housing”? Yes, it was a big issue for me. I couldn’t wait any longer. I wasn’t prepared to put my life on hold any longer. “one day” you’ll get a permanent job. “one day” you’ll get a mortgage, etc. Then you go out to the market and see what you can buy and it’s really not surprising that so many people are out drinking themselves to death at the weekends, on anti-depressants or throwing themselves off bridges in that country.

I made the decision to leave last year. I moved at the end of last year.

The top four reasons (with a percentage weighting) were:

  • [60%] housing (cost, location, quality, mortgage rates, the crap I looked at last summer was truly depressing)
  • [30%] income tax (high rate kicks in far too low, USC, pension levy, etc. Shocking)
  • [5%] motor tax (€700 for a Ford Focus - outrageous)
  • [5%] health system (€1200 a year for feck all. I saw my 92 year-old granny on a trolley for 14 hours. VHI is a scam. As is the “fair deal” scheme/scam. It got her the same as everyone else)

Not Birmingham London or Manchester for sure…nor anywhere within a 100 miles of London. Way up north most likely, or in the very south west. I’m a big fan of Newcastle me. Great spot. On the other hand nearby Middlesboro is awful.

I think a lot of the madness in housing is the tightness of the market around Dublin Galway and Cork as nothing has been built in 7 years now while populations rose, that is not an issue in the rest of the country though, plenty of housing available.

Current public sector worker here. Earning €65000. Net pay: €3100

(That was last year. It’s a bit higher this year, since the budget kicked in.)


Most of the FEMPI emergency clawbacks are going over the course of this year too. So there will be pay rises, in effect.

But as an EG almost all the well paid specialist Health sector jobs that are recruiting are only in Dublin Cork and Galway where the specialist units are. There are no national or regional centers in any other towns.

Yeah, a bit of relief given back since 1st Jan.

If you’re permanent and get to go home at 4pm, it’s not too bad on €65k in PS. You can get another job or a seasonal job if you’re stuck. A lot of family-orientated parents like these kinds of jobs.

So you found a regional UK city that DOESN’T have a binge-drinking culture?!?!

Something like that is a personal choice

I know plenty of people in Ireland who never touch a drop, I’m moving in that direction myself 8DD

OK. I never said the UK was perfect. It isn’t. But it’s a lot better than Ireland.

On the spectrum of high quality cities we have:

  1. London

X. Middlesborough (as 2Pack points out)

Where do you think Dublin/Cork/Galway/Limerick would slot in relative to other UK cities?

Manchester, Edinburgh, Liverpool, etc. are all far superior to Dublin. Dublin is a secondary regional city on a downward trend in the grand scheme of things. As are all Irish cities.

One thing all UK cities have in common is interest rates that are more than half of those offered by Irish banks. And lower taxes. And the ability to enforce contracts, collect unpaid debts, etc. There’s higher quality healthcare. And lower road tax.

Don’t forget to factor in council taxes and other rates when mentioning UK cities. We’re moving over for a few years soon and some districts can have very high rates. It’s something that we have to remind ourselves to add on when considering living anywhere there.

During the boom a friend from the UK described Dublin as Liverpool with more money, and then the money ran out :frowning: