A UK mother flees the country’s roaring Cost of Living crisis. Jess from Cheshire relocated to Thailand with her partner and young daughter. The family sought to escape soaring UK energy bills and elevated inflation. In turn, there has been a widespread rise in mental health problems linked to ‘net zero’  climate change policies.

A determined UK mother has moved her family, including her partner and young daughter, to Thailand. Jessica Ward, from Congleton in Cheshire, claims other UK women were also thinking like her. It comes amid an explosion of mental health issues among women in the United Kingdom. In short, this is directly linked to the country’s cost of living crisis. This erupted in early 2022 and is driven by the UK Parliament’s zealous ‘net zero’ policy on emissions. The combination of the Ukraine war, rising geopolitical instability, and the disruption of supply chains has contributed to elevated inflation in Britain.

Jessica Ward, who comes from Congleton in Cheshire with her daughter Cece, decided to move to Thailand in response to the ongoing cost of living crisis in the United Kingdom that has been impacting people’s mental health. In particular, UK women, according to Jess. She says many other UK mums are also thinking of making the move to sunny Thailand and a less highly geared lifestyle.

A UK mother has relocated her family to a new life in Thailand from the United Kingdom. Jessica Ward and her partner arrived in the kingdom for the first time only four months ago, in January 2024.

It was an eye-opener for the couple who previously lived in Congleton, a market town of approximately thirty thousand people in Cheshire.

The town is 21 miles south of Manchester and 12 miles north of Stoke-on-Trent.

Like millions of people over previous decades, the couple decided that Thailand may have something to offer.

UK couple came to Thailand in January this year and did not want to go back to the cost-of-living nightmare awaiting them at home in the middle of England

Jess said the couple, who have a young daughter Cece, simply did not want to leave. ‘We can have a much better life,’ the pair thought and decided to act.

Presently, they live in a villa in a country full of sunshine and warmth. Their little girl Cece is enrolled for preschool while Jess has applied for a visa with the Immigration Bureau.

Jess told UK news outlet GB News that what drove them from the United Kingdom was the cost of living nightmare.

In particular, rising energy bills which are linked to government policies on climate change. In short, Britain’s now infamous ‘Net Zero’ emissions policy.

The laws and regulations have been pushed through parliament and mandated by the country’s two-party political system. This comes despite a public backlash and disagreement with the measures.

Ambitious if not zealous targets set by the UK’s parliament along with the Ukraine War and geo-political instability drove up inflation led by energy costs

The ambitious targets of the policy in the United Kingdom are to reduce direct emissions by 50% in 2032 and further by 75% in 2037.

The bottom line for the UK’s lawmakers in pursuit of the climate change agenda is net zero emissions by 2050.

This result, coming at a time of geopolitical turmoil due to the war in Ukraine and disruptions caused by the pandemic, which was devastating for Britain, has been a nightmare for the UK’s working class.

In addition, a polarised political atmosphere and rising concerns over illegal migration and law and order have added to the mix.

A 2022 YouGov poll showed that 73% of UK people wanted the UK government to change tack.

They wanted to see more carbon dioxide-generating fuels used where possible if it meant lower energy costs. In brief, they refuted the climate change agenda.

Yet, with the United Kingdom’s two political parties wedded to aggressive Climate Change ideology, their views are not heeded.

At the same time, at each General Election, the voters are limited to either a Labour or Conservative government because of the United Kingdom’s first-past-the-post voting system for MPs.

Energy bills were the trigger for struggling UK families starting in early 2022. The hardship has left UK families living on a ‘knife edge’ with no way out

However, in Jess’s story, the key driver was energy costs for her family in Congleton.

‘The cost of living in the UK was just too much for us – particularly energy bills,’ the UK woman explained this week. ‘It’s just so stressful trying to make ends meet when you have a young family.’

The UK mother reflected this week that the issue became the preoccupation of mothers collecting children at school. At length, she described the atmosphere for struggling young families as on a knife edge.

She explained that she and her partner Harry had always wanted to travel in any event.

In short, that is why they never took out a mortgage. Afterwards, they rented a property with some room and rented a four-bedroom property in the UK market town.

However, the cost of gas and electricity came in at £326 per month. In Thai terms, that is ฿14,996. In effect, ฿15k per month.

‘We had an old boiler and because we were renting, we weren’t able to change it, although our landlord did say she would fit a new one if we committed to a longer stay,’ the young woman explained.

UK’s privatised national energy system was at the root of the problem when the world suddenly changed after the pandemic crisis and then the Ukraine War

The nightmare for the UK population began at the onset of the Ukraine war.

In Britain, energy costs are regulated by Ofgem as part of the country’s privatised energy and electricity market.

Certainly, this has meant the brunt of any spike in fuel cost is felt by the public. Previously, under a state-owned system, this would have been a bill for the government.

Ofgem has a price cap to limit the total annual amount a consumer has to pay. In January 2022, this was £1,277. By April 2022, it was £1,971 a year.

Significantly, by January 2023, the figure had risen to £4,279 a year. In April 2024, the figure had fallen back to £1,690 a year.

Nonetheless, with the geopolitical situation highly unstable and the government still pursuing its climate change policies, the UK working man and woman is harried by a cost of living crisis.

In the meantime, the government and local governments throughout the United Kingdom are moving towards higher property taxes.

Presently, inflation in Britain has also fallen back from a peak of 11.1% during the period from September 2022 to March 2023. It was 4.7% for March 2024 and 4.8% in February.

Thailand’s inflation rate in April was only 0.19% after seven months of deflation. Simultaneously the government has subsidised household electricity charges

In contrast, Thailand’s inflation rate for April 2024 was 0.19% while the previous seven months were in negative territory.

At the same time, the government of Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin introduced price supports to reduce electricity charges. Electricity costs in Thailand are lower than in Britain, though not by as much as people generally think.

For instance, the April cost of electricity in the United Kingdom was 24.5p per unit. In short, that is ฿11.27. In the same period, the cost in Thailand was ฿4.18.

Thailand’s cost is therefore 37% of the UK’s cost. In essence, the UK cost is 2.7 times more expensive.

However, the cost of living crisis in the United Kingdom and other Western and European countries is coming with severe political tension.

Anxiety among UK women is a mental health issue

In turn, this is beginning to impact mental health across the board, particularly among young Western women who are now also very much breadwinners for modern families as men.

‘The cost of energy had a huge impact on us,’ Jess explained to UK reporter Patrick O’Donnell of GB News. ‘We also couldn’t have a smart metre and I worried about the inefficiency of it and what would happen if there’s another huge energy hike.’

Jess also speaks of the anxiety which has now entered the situation, and angst felt by the preponderance of UK women.

‘All the mums were worried about it when we met up. It wasn’t just energy, it was everything going up and it felt like you were on a constant knife edge and it shouldn’t be like that. Families should know they can have a safe, warm house,’ she explained.

More UK mums and their families want to move to Thailand, says Jess. They are seriously contemplating the move to escape deteriorating UK living conditions

At the same time, she expressed confidence that many more mums in the United Kingdom are contemplating a similar move.

Thailand, for Jess and her family, is a relief from a nightmare.

‘The standard of living is so much better and it means you don’t have that constant anxiety which can really impact mental health, particularly on women who bear the brunt of running the home life.’

A survey released in early May shows that the number of UK people reporting mental health issues has ballooned since the end of the COVID-19 pandemic. In particular, respondents including adults and those over 65 were deeply concerned with the inflation threat.

An NHS study in March 2024 estimates the mental health strain is costing the UK economy £300 billion a year.

Certainly, Jess and her partner are like many who make the jump to come and live in Thailand or other Southeast Asian countries.

One Western foreigner lives for  £600 per month

Applauding her decision, an X social media user named Jonas tells how he moved to Thailand in 2016.

Speaking from a beachside retreat in the sunshine, he claims he alternates between Thailand and Vietnam.

At the same time, he says he can live comfortably on £600 per month. In short, that is ฿27,600 which is just below the average Thai salary of ฿29,502 based on 2023 figures. Of course, this figure is based on workers with Thailand’s social security system. 24 million Thai workers are part of the system. In truth, the average salary in Thailand is substantially lower because of those in the large black economy.

At the same time, the overwhelming majority of UK expats who come to live in Thailand, eventually decide to return home.

The reasons are numerous and varied, as is the period they stay in Thailand.

However, among the problems that arise is the level of corruption in the kingdom, which in particular frustrates British people. In the meantime, there is an ongoing need to comply with strict and onerous visa requirements.

For instance, Thailand each year arrests thousands of foreigners both for breaking visa laws and for working outside the country’s strict labour laws.

Most UK people who move to Thailand afterwards return home. The reasons are diverse for instance an abhorrence of corruption in Thailand and visa issues

In short, Thailand has a closed system attitude towards the concept of citizenship and taxpayers. It is quite a difficult country to obtain permanent residence in and obtaining citizenship is limited to hundreds each year. 

Undoubtedly, it is virtually impossible for many foreign residents, even those with significant investments or financial resources.

Ironically, it is Thailand’s previous lack of engagement with Western development goals that has made it a country of escape for many.

In short, the country’s laissez-faire attitude with less government intervention and more personal freedom, is simultaneously behind many of the negative aspects of living in Thailand such as its notorious roads and lack of safety regulations.

Nonetheless, with less government intervention and a lower amount of tax taken out of GDP, Thai people are generally happier. Of course, the balmy weather also helps.

Thailand is also changing and aims to become a developed country. Moving towards full OECD membership. This means regulation and higher costs 

However, this may not last forever. Thailand, in April 2024, began the process to become a full member of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). It is seen as a pivotal move.

This may change Thailand which still enjoys an economy where approximately 50% of economic activity is unrecorded or part of the casual market.

New tax era in Thailand begins as Revenue now shares data with 138 countries within the OECD
Expats seeking a new life face challenges with stricter banking and taxation rules being pushed
Banker calls for government to rein in Thailand’s persistently large black economy amid economic malaise

One key step taken by the Thai government was in September 2023.

At length, this was when it changed the interpretation of a Revenue code to tax remittances by foreigners in Thailand. This came in response to its still declining tax base.  Thailand is preparing itself for increased government spending to care for its growing elderly population.

In addition, Western countries, particularly the United Kingdom, have begun restricting banking access to their residents in Thailand.

Indeed, there appears to be an increasingly obvious agenda. In short, Western governments and international institutions are disturbed by the free movement of people away from developed countries.

This is coming in response to economic conditions driven by an international agenda which is not market-driven.

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Further reading:

New tax era in Thailand begins as Revenue now shares data with 138 countries within the OECD

Calls for clarification of new Tax regime which appears to target expat foreign income sources

10 year visa a magnet for global citizens setting up in Thailand with zero tax on offshore income

Wealthy foreigners to own small landholdings associated with homes here agreed in principle

New plan for the Thai economy could see an elite foreign visa scheme generate up to 6% of GDP

Economic plan to put the smile back in Thailand’s appeal to western foreigners to live and work

Thailand to reopen to ‘big fish’ tourists as a cryptocurrency friendly haven says promotion agency boss

IMF urges government to loosen nation’s purse strings as finances tighten with the tax take down

Government preparing a plan to lure millions more expats to come and live in Thailand spurring the economy

Plan to allow high tech and skilled foreigners to live and work in Thailand for up to four years