Brexit, austerity and rising taxes likely to increase number of UK expats

Published:  8 Feb at 6 PM
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Whether Britain faces a hard or soft Brexit, the consequences may drive yet more UK citizens to emigrate overseas.

A recent report from the Institute for Fiscal Studies predicts the UK’s tax burden will hit highs not seen for 30 years, causing extended austerity measures, spending cuts and punitive new tax laws. Balancing the nation’s books is likely to take the rest of the present decade and expand into the following ten years with no respite from public hardship.

According to the report, balancing the budget deficit will require tax increases and cuts in public spending totalling around 34 billion sterling. The effect on British citizens of continued austerity is likely to result in an exodus of both professionals and pensioners, although where exactly the latter could go post-Brexit is at present unclear. Even so, for retirees on the basic state pension, surging inflation including increased consumer costs such as electricity and gas may cause many to attempt to leave the UK for almost anywhere warm rather than resort to food banks and increasingly cash-strapped social services.

According to economist Andrew Good, the present increase in consumer spending isn’t expected to last due to the pressures of inflation and welfare cuts, and failure to agree a free-trade agreement during Brexit negotiations will worsen the situation. The growing and, most importantly, ageing population in the UK will put even more pressure on public finances at the same time as inflation soars due to increased customs tolls.

Many of the present generation of young, university-educated British professionals are already concerned about the difficulties of becoming property-owners, especially as soaring rental charges negate the possibility of saving for a deposit. Faced with anaemic economic growth, stagnating salaries, higher taxes and shrinking levels of public service, the brightest and best may well decide to jump ship and become permanent expats.

Source: Expatra
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