UK Autumn Statement November 2022 – a summary for expats

UK Budgets seem to come thick and fast these days with the last one in September, albeit that was referred to as a ‘fiscal event’.  A small budget by any other name can lead to as many problems as a big one and that caused huge ructions in financial markets, leading to many of the announcements being rescinded, and another change of Prime Minister and cabinet, albeit still from the same political party.

As is usually the way, new Chancellors like to put their seal on the role so Jeremy Hunt delivered his Autumn Statement this afternoon. You may like to note that he is the seventh Chancellor in just seven years.

This article is a brief overview of some of the main points with particular reference to any changes that are pertinent to those living outside of the UK and especially in the GCC. The UK press will cover many points in detail but many of the points will not be directly relevant to expats so this article focuses on the points that will be most relevant to us.

As has become common in recent years, many of the announcements were trailed and leaked to the media as  there seems to be a great deal of “policy by feedback” these days.

We knew there would be around £30bn in spending cuts and £24bn in tax rises

Unlike the previous ‘budget’, this has been reviewed by the Office of Budget Responsibility (OBR) but I understand they have downgraded UK growth expectations on the back of the figures and announcements.

 Income Tax

The first announcement was a reduction in the top rate of tax threshold from £145,000 down to £125,000. This applies to  England, Wales and Northern Ireland. Scotland ha a top rate of 46% at a threshold of £150,000 and can be expected to follow suit.

Quite a turnaround from the days of Liz Truss and Kwazi Kwarteng who wanted to scrap the additional rate altogether.

The personal allowance (£12,570 in the 2022/23 tax year) will be frozen until 2028.

Stealth taxes

As well as the personal allowance being froze, the National Insurance and inheritance tax thresholds (nil rate band of £325,000  for 2022/23) had already been frozen until April 2026 and will now be frozen for a further two years, until April 2018.

In real terms, this means millions of people will end up paying more in tax as the tax bands will stay the same while incomes increase. Even small annual increases in income will make a difference here and this is a popular move by government to look as if they aren’t taking anything way away although people will have less in their pay packets.

As wages rise – even more than usual due to increases in inflation – the proportion of earnings that people will pay tax on will increase, and more people will move into higher tax brackets. The thresholds were already frozen until 2026.

 Capital Gains Tax

Significant reductions here and something that is likely to affect many expats with UK assets.

The annual exemption is currently £12,300 per person, per year but this will fall to £6,000 for the 2023/24 tax year and then to just £3,000 thereafter.

Capital Gains Tax (CGT ) is a tax on unearned, or at least not directly earned, income. It is payable on the sale of property that is not a principal private residence, meaning your home.

The reality is that this is one of the most underused allowances in the UK, but will affect non-residents more than the average UK resident.

In addition, the Dividend Allowance will be reduced from £2,000 to £1,000 from April 2023, and to £500 from April 2024.

Stamp Duty

The recent reduction to thresholds is  unchanged but only until 2025, at which time they will increase.

If you are thinking of investing in UK property, or even planning to buy a home, it is best to do so before then.

I have writen various articles on this topic you may want to read. Start here: UK property investment

UK State Pensions

Hunt announced that the pension triple lock will remain. This has been hanging in the balance for a while so it is good news, although it is needed as so many pensioners have little more than the state pension to live on.

For anyone unclear, under the triple lock, the state pension will increase each year in line with whichever of these three measures is highest:

  • inflation, as measured by the Consumer Price Index in September of the previous year
  • the average increase in wages across the UK
  • or 2.5%

The State Pension will be increased, in line with inflation from April 2023 by 10.1%

Some additional benefits, of a few hundred pounds a year, will be payable to those on means -tested benefits.

The State Pension age is legislated to increase over the next 25 years. There is currently an official  Review of the State Pension age being carried out with results expected next year. Given life expectancy, I believe it is an economic given, that they will increase further. Unless people are willing to pay more into the system, future generation, will be drawing state pensions at even older ages.

National Health Service

There was an announcement of £3.3bn a year ‘extra’ for the NHS as part of the total budget, albeit much of this will be inflationary contributions and it isn’t entirely clear where the extra is coming from.

A much-needed efficiency review has been announced and, interestingly, Patricia Hewitt, former Labour Health Secretary will lead this.


A few points worth highlighting.

The Energy Price Guarantee (EPG) will be maintained through the winter, limiting typical energy bills to £2,500 per year. From April 2023 the EPG will rise to £3,000.

Additional support to households over the short term to assist with the price hikes.

Substantial additional investment into renewable energy to reduce reliance on other countries. A move designed to prevent the horrendous increase that UK residents are seeing

It was announced that the Sizewell C nuclear power plant is to be built. The expectation is that it could provide up to 7% of the UK’s total electricity needs and thousands of jobs. Critics point out that it  will not start generating any electricity until sometime in the 2030s and will be very expensive. Knowing how these things work, it would not be foolish to assume it will end up costing rather more than the numbers being announced.

The Energy Profits Levy is being extended to the end of March 2028, and the rate is being increased by 10% up to 35% from 1 January 2023. There will be a new, temporary 45% Electricity Generator Levy on these extraordinary profit returns from 1 January 2023.

Other points

  • Increase in National Living Wage for over 23s from the current level of £9.50 to 42 per hour from April 2023. An increase that is lower than the current rate of inflation.
  • No change to BoE remit
  • Overseas aid will now not return to 0.7% of GDP, from the reduced 0.5%, for at least five years
  • Truss’s commitment to increase defence spending to 3% of national income is now under review
  • Electric vehicles will no longer be exempt from Vehicle Excise Duty from April 2025 to make the motoring tax system “fairer”.
  • Rent increases in the social rented sector will be capped at 7% in the next financial year.
  • Acceptance of the pay recommendations of the independent Pay Review Bodies for the NHS, teachers, police and the armed forces for 2022/23

Economically and politically, the UK is still in bumpy water. Inflation is a major worry and the Bank of England will raise interest rates to try and dampen it down. While the US may have seen the worst of their inflationary pressures, the UK is lagging behind.

As well as inflation the UK also has some supply chain issues and significant labour shortages.  These are not going to go away overnight although they won’t last forever.  There was brief refence only to the fiscal event in September with an attitude that it was almost from a different government, despite there having been no change.

It is relevant to point out that the UK has a large number of very wealth non-doms who pay exceedingly low amounts of tax compared to their income. There was no reference to them paying any more to contribute to the country.

UK borrowing and debt is at historically high levels. Overall, the debt interest to revenue ratio is expected to reach 7.6% in 2026-27, compared to 3.3% as forecast in March for the same year.

While part of this is caused by Covid, it is not all and the spectre of Brexit hangs in the air even if there was no mention of the ongoing problems this has caused to the UK economy.

Sterling is still weak again the US Dollar and linked currencies and the Autumn Statement is not goingt omake any changes to that. It still benefits expats who want to convert money to Sterling. See  THIS LINK for the best value, and most importantly the safest way, to do so

The Chancellor’s delivery of the Autumn Statement seems to show misplaced optimism and some short-termism as the stealth taxes  in particular are soon going to see the average UK household worse off than before. Inflation is already biting and this is not a fix to the UK’s economic problems.


I have read through the ‘full Autumn Statement 2022 as issues by The Treasury (a painful 70 pages) and there is nothing else specifically related to taxing expats.

I write articles such as this one as part of the personal financial planning service and that I provide to expats, and the general consumer, financial and legal information that I provide in The National newspaper, other UAE media, and on the Facebook group British Expats Dubai.

To arrange a meeting to discuss any aspect of your personal financial planning, please email me at

Please take a look at the other useful articles on this website.


About FinancialUAE

A qualified and experienced Independent Financial Adviser based in Dubai, UAE. Professional and ethical. Freelance writer on personal financial issues & the On Your Side column in The National. Founder of Facebook group British Expats Dubai. Senior Partner at Holborn Assets LLC, Dubai, UAE.
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