We're poorer but happier in France

What prompts British people to give up jobs in the UK and move to France?

What prompts British people to give up jobs in the UK and move to France? We speak to families who made the move

THE RECESSION has hit the pockets of many people living in France. The economic downturn has hit businesses and shrunk the jobs market.

Expats have been particularly hard hit for several reasons.

Pensioners and anyone drawing income from the UK have seen their earnings drop as the value of the pound tumbled against the euro.

This adds to the problems faced by Britons moving to France, even at the best of times.

People of working age often give up an established career or business to start a new life here from scratch with qualifications which may well be worthless.

Setting up a business is expensive and wages tend to be lower, so many of those coming to live here will earn less than in the UK.

It can be hard and does not always work out.

Some sell up and return to Britain but there are a great number who find the quality of life here is richer in ways that have nothing to do with money – and they are happy to stay even if it means fewer coppers in their pockets.

One such is Mark Fletcher. At the age of 35 he was running a successful painting and decorating business - but he was working 16-18 hours a day, six days a week and most Sunday afternoons just, as he said, "to keep up with the Joneses".

He had not been able to spend time with his 18-month-old son. So seven years ago he gave it all up for France.

He has no regrets: "I ...

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