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See yourself in a Swiss role?

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Eddie Mair | 15:56 UK time, Tuesday, 16 February 2010

Michael Buchanan writes: Fancy living in Switzerland?


Perhaps going for a spin along Lake Geneva? Apparently, many people in Britain at the moment are thinking of moving - trying to reduce their tax liability, with the new 50p tax rate being introduced in April. You'll have gathered that it's the rich - alright, the very rich - who are thinking of leaving. One tax lawyer tells PM tonight that over the past couple of months she's been handling enquiries from the UK "every other day" for the past couple of months.


A good number of Brits have already decamped to Zug, (above) a little town south of Zurich with more registered businesses than people, including Boots (the chemist) no less. In fact there are now so many Brits that Franky (below) has opened his own deli selling much missed everyday British staples, like bacon, crumpets, marmite and cheese. Yes, cheese. In Switzerland. But the tax advantages of living here (and the availability of marmite) are not enough - yet - to draw hordes of millionaire refugees. Apparently the families of the rich - ok, their wives if truth be told - are less keen to swop their London lives for Alpine attractions."



  • 1. At 5:29pm on 16 Feb 2010, Mark wrote:

    Switzerland isn't a millionaires' enclave, it's full of normal people, just like an other European country.

    I've moved and I'm not a telephone-number salary earner. Instead, I'm an ordinary bloke, a physiotherapist. Taxes are significantly lower whilst public services are better, the schools are great and the healthcare is probably the best in the world.

    The air's fresher, the transport works and the people are friendlier. But it's not for everyone, you have to like the outdoors rather than the nightlife. Indeed, I'm not sure how many tycoons will move since there are fewer shops, auction houses and fancy restaurants.

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  • 2. At 5:30pm on 16 Feb 2010, Hovicho wrote:

    Did anyone get the name of the company and person who works on relocation to Switzerland?

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  • 3. At 5:38pm on 16 Feb 2010, newlach wrote:

    It must all sound very good to a highly paid banker. Didn't Peter Sellars live out that way? But £5 for a pint!

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  • 4. At 6:23pm on 16 Feb 2010, Jonathan Morse wrote:

    If you don't pay UK tax should you be able to run home to Blighty if you need expensive healthcare or loose your job and want housing/benefits? (speaking generally not just rich bankers)

    Also what if Germany stops supporting Switzland enjoying the benefits of being in Europe without being in the EU.

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  • 5. At 6:38pm on 16 Feb 2010, Simon wrote:

    Michael Buchanan has the hallmarks of a great journalist. He can reduce a fiendishly difficult topic into a short simple sentence? 4 words to encompass a minefield. "Fancy living in Switzerland?" But then he goes and ruins it by taking over 150 words and still failing to answer the question.

    3 / 10 Michael, see me.

    For the record, the correct answer is 'YES'.

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  • 6. At 6:49pm on 16 Feb 2010, Allan wrote:

    The couple who have won fifty six million pounds might like to consider building a rehab hospital for our wounded servicemen and women,
    That is what i say i shall do when i win that amount of money.As we do not have any military hospitals any more because Gordon shut them all down to save money.

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  • 7. At 10:53am on 17 Feb 2010, Big Sister wrote:

    It doesn't hit the button for me. I used to visit Switzerland regularly in one of my jobs and I was always struck by the contrast between the stunning scenery and the insularity of its people. No doubt others will comment that it is those mountains which have created that insularity, but - and here I'm going to be brutally honest - it is a very dull country and I would die of emotional starvation.

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  • 8. At 1:25pm on 17 Feb 2010, Froggersfroat wrote:

    I'd prefer to envisage the Swiss Roll inside of me.

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  • 9. At 1:39pm on 17 Feb 2010, Crataegus Monogyna wrote:

    A friend just returned home from Zermatt, having dislocated his shoulder. It cost him several grand for a total of less than two hours recovery and treatment....

    Moral: If you do decamp, get insurance.

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  • 10. At 1:44pm on 07 Mar 2010, Rick Jones wrote:

    I lived in Switzerland for 23 years. In fact I took Swiss nationality when I was there. I am now based back in the UK for various reasons but I am disappointed by what has happened here in my absence. Crime, job uncertainty and general deterioration in values is immediately apparent when compared to Switzerland. Life is much less stressfull in CH, people are interested in you as person and friendly and the standard of living is much higher then the UK. I will be retiring back to Switzerland at the appropriate time you can be sure of that.

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