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)
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)
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.