Forget Labour's £80,000: Britons only feel rich with £370,000 a year

Emma Haslett
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Most Britons don't feel rich until they've got enough to buy a supercar... (Source: Getty)

If you thought Labour's pledge to hike tax for the wealthy, ie. those earning over £80,000, was unfair, it seems you're in the majority: a new study showed Britons only feel well-off with £370,000 a year.

The study, by salary benchmarking site Emolument, found professionals in the UK are up there with their counterparts in the US, who also said they weren't wealthy until they made £370,000.

That was followed by the French, who didn't feel well off until they hit £310,000 a year, while Swiss workers said the figure was more like £208,000. At the bottom end of the table was India, where locals felt well-off with a salary of £25,000.

Read more: Does earning £70,000 make you rich?

Not surprisingly, the less experience people had, the less they needed to feel wealthy: those with five years' experience or less needed a mere £93,000, compared to professionals with 15 years' experience or more, who needed £435,000 to feel well off.

Interestingly, though, even in sectors regarded as the most well-paid, the majority of workers said they didn't feel wealthy. Only a quarter of those working in financial services and a third of those working in insurance said they felt rich, while in the mining and energy sector, that figure was 21 per cent.

Workers in the tech sector seemed particularly hard done-by, with just 15 per cent saying they felt wealthy, compared with 16 per cent of those working in the public sector.

"Considering current levels of frustration with their jobs and the industry as a whole, it is not surprising that only a small proportion of bankers feel wealthy," said Alice Leguay, Emolument's co-founder.

After all, they entered the sector with hopes of huge bonuses, a glamorous and aspirational job and now find themselves in one of the most regulated industries with ever-shrinking payouts and poor social perception of their choice of career, as well as huge standard of living costs which many struggle to maintain.

"This discrepancy leads many searching for an exit towards less regulated and more exciting opportunities in the venture capital, private equity and hedge fund space, where bankers now perceive opportunities for wealth to be within reach."

Read more: Banks are getting a headache from bonus fatigue

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