United Kingdom and Brazil sign agreement to avoid double taxation

The United Kingdom and Brazil signed a Double Taxation Agreement (DTA) on Tuesday (29/11). The Agreement will provide relief from the double taxation of income in both countries. It is the most significant development in the trade relationship between the United Kingdom and Brazil in many years and represents a concrete response to demands from business in both countries – exploratory dialogues have been ongoing since 2017. Double taxation makes cross-border trade and investment more expensive, as well as creating obstacles for cross-border workers, which is burdensome for both the business sector and for individuals.

The main benefits of the bilateral agreement will be to:

  • Provide tax certainty and predictability to business, facilitating long-term investments;
  • Help tackle tax evasion by providing for the exchange of information between the two countries;
  • Intensify trade and investment between Brazil and the United Kingdom, strengthening the bilateral relationship.

The DTA brings about important benefits for the British and Brazilian economies. It will ensure that United Kingdom and Brazilian businesses encounter fewer economic and administrative burdens when doing business in the other country and reduce the costs of doing so.

As a result, we anticipate that the Brazilian market will become a more attractive place to invest for the British business community and will also facilitate Brazilian investment in the United Kingdom contributing to job creation, innovation and prosperity.

The link to the full text of the agreement will be included here once it is published on the official page of the British Government.

Before the signing of the DTA, Brazil was one of the only major trading partners of the United Kingdom that had not yet concluded an agreement to avoid double taxation.

Further information on the DTA: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/brazil-tax-treaties

Link: United Kingdom and Brazil sign agreement to avoid double taxation
Source: Assent Information Services

UK government takes major steps forward to secure Britain’s energy independence

  • UK government confirms historic decision to back Sizewell C’s development, set to generate reliable, clean electricity for 6 million UK homes, and deliver thousands of high-value jobs in Suffolk and nationwide
  • Business Secretary commits to taking forward the Energy Bill, a major step forward in building a secure future that is powered by cheaper, cleaner British energy, for Britain
  • comes alongside government push to help households cut energy usage – and with it their bills

Business and Energy Secretary Grant Shapps today launches a landmark package to invest now to help secure Britain’s energy independence.

Today the government is driving forward plans to build a secure energy future, creating cheaper, cleaner energy from British sources, for Britain. This includes continuing the revitalisation of the UK nuclear industry by confirming the first state backing of a nuclear project in over 30 years, part of the UK’s biggest step yet in the journey to energy freedom.

The government’s historic £700 million stake in Sizewell C is positioned at the heart of the new blueprint to Britain’s energy sovereignty, as plans to develop the new plant are approved today. This is expected to create 10,000 highly skilled jobs and provide reliable, low-carbon, power to the equivalent of 6 million homes for over 50 years.

Today’s approval comes alongside the government’s continued commitment to develop a pipeline of new nuclear projects, beyond Sizewell C. To support this, the UK is working at pace to set up Great British Nuclear, the vehicle tasked with developing a resilient pipeline of new nuclear builds, with an announcement expected early in the new year.

The driving force that will power up this long-term plan is the Energy Bill, which is being driven forward in Parliament, forming part of today’s once in a generation plan to put in place powers to shield Britain from global forces and secure energy for future generations.

It comes as the UK sets a new ambition to reduce energy demand by 15% by 2030. This is backed by a new £1 billion ECO+ insulation scheme, and a major expansion to the government’s public awareness campaign – all of which will help households cut back on energy waste and deliver warmer homes and buildings and cheaper energy bills.

Business and Energy Secretary Grant Shapps said:

Global gas prices are at record highs, caused by Putin’s illegal march on Ukraine.  We need more clean, affordable power generated within our borders – British energy for British homes.

Today’s historic deal giving government backing to Sizewell C’s development is crucial to this, moving us towards greater energy independence and away from the risks that a reliance on volatile global energy markets for our supply comes with.

This is at the heart of a package of measures that – together with the new Great British Nuclear and powers of the Energy Security Bill – will ensure secure supply for now, and for generations to come.

Chancellor of the Exchequer Jeremy Hunt said:

Today’s investment in Sizewell C represents the biggest step on our journey to energy independence – the first state backing for a nuclear project in over 30 years. Once complete, this mega project will power millions of homes with clean, affordable, home-grown energy for decades to come.

Together with our drive to improve the nation’s energy efficiency, this package will help to permanently bring down energy bills and stop Britain being at the mercy of global gas prices beyond our control.

Simone Rossi, CEO of EDF Energy said:

This is a big vote of confidence in Sizewell C and we are very excited the government is partnering with us to prepare the project for further investment. Sizewell C will build on the achievements of Hinkley Point C and replicating its design will provide more certainty over schedule and costs. It will deliver another big boost to jobs and skills in the nuclear industry and provide huge new opportunities for communities in Suffolk. New nuclear will protect Britain from volatile global gas markets and help keep bills under control for the country’s homes and businesses.

Greater energy efficiency will strengthen Britain’s energy independence and reduce household bills permanently, and we welcome government’s action. We are ready to step up our installation rates to help more households benefit from lower bills.

The government is taking major steps to ensure British energy independence.

Investment in nuclear power

For many years the UK was a leader in the civil nuclear field, but when exchanged for gas, the UK’s nuclear industry has languished behind. That’s why today, the government has confirmed it will be pushing ahead with Sizewell C in Suffolk, following intentions set out in the Autumn Statement. This is expected to provide reliable and low carbon power to the equivalent of 6 million homes for over 50 years and, as it’s being built, will create up to 10,000 highly skilled jobs across the UK. The historic £700 million investment will enable the British

Government will become a 50% shareholder in the project’s development with EDF and will work together with the project company to raise capital investment for the project. The move is the first direct government investment in a new nuclear power project since Sizewell B, the last nuclear power station to be built in the UK, was approved for construction in 1987.

For Britain to achieve energy security, a pipeline of new nuclear is needed, alongside one large-scale project. Today the government is confirming its commitment to set up Great British Nuclear, an Arms’ Length Body (ALB) which will develop a resilient pipeline of new builds, beyond Sizewell C. With support from industry and our expert adviser Simon Bowen, this vehicle will help through every stage of the development process while ensuring these projects offer clear value for money for taxpayers and consumers. The UK government can confirm today that it will back Great British Nuclear with funding to enable the delivery of clean, safe electricity over the decades to come, protecting future generations from the high price of global fossil fuel markets, with an announcement expected in the new year.

Legislating to drive investment and to secure our energy future

The vehicle to power up the long-term plan, the Energy Bill, is on track and will be driven forward in Parliament. As the most significant piece of primary energy legislation since 2013, the Bill will liberate private investment and drive jobs and growth by helping to transform the UK’s energy industry. The Bill has a strong focus on enabling the deployment of homegrown, low-carbon technologies such as turbocharging the nascent CCUS and hydrogen industries, in which we already have a global head start. It will also encourage competition in the energy sector – and above all it will help to create clean jobs and cheaper bills.

These mark major steps forward in making Britain an independent and self-sufficient energy producing nation, ensuring consumers across the country can benefit from warmer, energy-efficient homes and buildings which are powered by home-grown clean energy.

Boost energy efficiency

Warmer homes and buildings are key to reducing bills and will create jobs along the way. That is why the government is committed to driving improvements in energy efficiency with a new ambition to reduce the UK’s final energy consumption from buildings and industry by 15% by 2030 and new ECO+ insulation scheme, announced earlier this week.

To further support the government’s new energy demand reduction target, the government has expanded its public awareness campaign to help reduce bills for households and protect vulnerable people over the winter and beyond. Backed by £18 million, this campaign will complement existing government support schemes. It will use public messaging to increase consumers’ capability to reduce their own household usage and bills through making their homes more energy efficient for next winter while equipping vulnerable groups with the right information for reducing energy usage without harming their health.

Complementing existing government support schemes such as the Energy Price Guarantee and the Energy Bills Support Scheme, the government’s expanded energy demand campaign will centre around key actions the government is advising the public to take, such as:

  • Reducing boiler flower temperature (saving households approximately £100 per year)
  • Turning down radiators when they aren’t in use (saving households approximately £70 per year)
  • Taking action to reduce heat loss from a property such as draught-proofing windows (saving households approximately £60 per year)

This information will also be available on the existing Help for Households website.

Notes to editors

Sizewell C

Ministers have made a commitment to reaching a Final Investment Decision on at least one large-scale nuclear power station this Parliament, subject to value for money and all relevant approvals. This objective was first set out in the Energy White Paper 2020, and has since been included in the government’s Net Zero and British Energy Security Strategies.

The UK government’s £679 million investment in Sizewell C will support the project’s continued development. EDF will also provide additional investment to match the government’s stake in the project. The government will work with the project company to seek to attract new third-party investment to help finance the project’s construction and operation

If approved, Sizewell C’s supply chain strategy sees 70% of the value of the project’s construction and operations contracts being placed with UK businesses, creating and supporting thousands of well-paid jobs in Suffolk and across the UK’s national nuclear industry.

The investment also allows for China General Nuclear’s (CGN) exit from the project, including buy-out costs, any tax due and commercial arrangements.

Regulated Asset Base (RAB)

Earlier this week, the Business Secretary designated Sizewell C as the UK’s first project to use the newly established Regulated Asset Base (RAB) funding model for nuclear. RAB is a tried and tested funding model that has already been used for other major infrastructure, such as the Thames Tideway Tunnel and London Heathrow Terminal 5.

Using the RAB model is expected to further reduce the costs of electricity to consumers, by cutting the cost of new nuclear project finance, which is the biggest driver of nuclear project costs.

Overall, the lower cost of financing a large-scale nuclear project through this scheme is expected to lead to savings for consumers of at least £30 billion on each project throughout its lifetime compared to the existing Contracts for Difference scheme.

Energy Awareness Campaign

Government is expanding its public awareness campaign to help reduce bills for households and protect vulnerable people over the winter and beyond.

The public awareness campaign will increase the reach of messaging around energy usage in the most cost-efficient way possible, using our full range of partners to communicate with the public.

Messaging will increase consumers’ capability to reduce their own household usage and bills through the most effective actions; drive take-up of energy efficiency measures to prepare homes for next winter; and equip vulnerable groups with the right information about how to reduce their energy usage without harming their health.

This messaging will be made available on the government’s existing Help For Households website.

This increased information and focus on energy efficiency will be closely aligned with the Help for Households campaign, which is already providing information to the public on support available this winter.

Our guidance focuses on those measures which are not already adopted by the majority of households in the UK, and where there is a positive financial impact for households without reducing comfort or putting people at risk this winter.

Energy Bill

  • With around 250 clauses, the Energy Bill is the most significant piece of primary legislation since 2013, set to liberate private investment in clean technologies, protect consumers, and reform the UK’s energy system so that it is efficient, safe and resilient.
  • The Bill’s passage is dependent on the parliamentary timetable.
  • The Bill contains a range of measures including, but not limited, to:
  • bring forward business models for CO2 transport and storage, industrial carbon capture, and low carbon hydrogen production
  • enable a hydrogen village trial in 2025
  • establish a Future System Operator
  • ensure that heat networks are regulated so that consumers are protected
  • reduce the risk of fuel supply disruption from accidents, severe weather, malicious threats and more.

Link: UK government takes major steps forward to secure Britain’s energy independence
Source: Assent Information Services

Energy storage backed with over £32 million government funding

  • £32.9 million government funding awarded to projects across the UK to develop new energy storage technologies, such as thermal batteries and liquid flow batteries
  • energy storage will be crucial as the UK scales up secure, clean and affordable renewable energy, with cutting-edge projects led by innovators across the UK
  • developing energy storage will further strengthen the UK’s energy security by helping unlock the full potential of home-grown renewables

Over £32 million government funding has been awarded to UK projects developing cutting-edge innovative energy storage technologies that can help increase the resilience of the UK’s electricity grid while also maximising value for money.

Five projects based across the UK will benefit from a share of over £32 million in the second phase of the Longer Duration Energy Storage (LODES) competition, to develop technologies that can store energy as heat, electricity or as a low-carbon energy carrier like hydrogen.

The variable nature of renewables like solar and wind power means that energy can be produced when it is not needed, such as during extended periods of high wind. However, new energy storage technologies can store excess energy to be used at a later point, so the energy can be used rather than wasted – meaning we can rely even more on renewable generation rather than fossil fuels, helping boost the UK’s long-term energy resilience.

This builds on the aims set out in the Energy Security Strategy earlier this year, to ensure a more flexible, efficient system by encouraging flexibility with large-scale, long-duration electricity storage to balance the overall system.

Minister for Climate Graham Stuart said:

Accelerating renewables is key to boosting our energy resilience. Energy storage helps us get the full benefit of these renewables, improving efficiency and helping drive down costs in the long term.

This £32.9 million government backing will enable green innovators across the UK to develop this technology, helping create new jobs and encouraging private investment, while also safeguarding the UK’s energy security.

The funding announced today follows the first phase of the LODES competition, which saw £2.7 million awarded to 19 projects. This second phase provides further funding to the most promising projects from Phase 1, enabling them to build prototypes and demonstrators to bring their projects to life.

The LODES competition provides government backing to accelerate the development and commercialisation of innovative energy storage technologies, in turn supporting the UK’s transition to relying on renewables, while also encouraging private investment and new green jobs – with an estimated 100 jobs supported through these projects.

Energy storage projects who have received funding

StorTera Ltd, based in Edinburgh, will receive £5.02 million to build a prototype demonstrator of their sustainable, efficient, and highly energy dense single liquid flow battery (SLIQ) technology. SLIQ will offer flexibility to the grid by storing electricity which can then be released when weather dependent technologies such as wind turbines and solar panels have periods of decreased energy generation.

Sunamp Ltd, based in East Lothian, will receive £9.25 million for a project that will trial their advanced thermal storage system in 100 homes across the UK. They will extend their existing heat battery to provide increased storage duration and capacity and pair it with household energy systems to tackle periods of low renewables generation on the grid.

The University of Sheffield will receive £2.60 million to develop a prototype modular thermal energy storage system, enabling optimised, flexible storage of heat within homes, providing benefits for both the occupant and the grid. The protype energy systems will be manufactured by Loughborough University and deployed at the Creative Energy Homes campus at the University of Nottingham, demonstrating the technology within lived-in homes.

RheEnergise Ltd will receive £8.24 million to build a demonstrator near Plymouth of their ‘High-Density Hydro®’ pumped energy storage system. The system uses an environmentally safe mineral-rich fluid more than two and half times denser than water, to create electricity from gentle slopes, without requiring steep dam walls or high mountains like traditional hydropower. The project will use surplus electricity to pump the fluid uphill, then later when electricity is needed by the grid, the fluid will be released back down the hill through turbines to generate electricity.

EDF UK R&D, in partnership with the University of Bristol, Urenco and the UK Atomic Energy Authority (UKAEA), will receive £7.73 million to develop a hydrogen storage demonstrator utilising depleted uranium at UKAEA’s Culham Science Centre in Abingdon, Oxfordshire. Electricity will be converted to hydrogen via electrolysis and stored for future use – either directly as hydrogen, or converted back to electricity via a fuel cell when required.

Stakeholder reaction

Dr. Gavin Park, CEO, StorTera Ltd said:

Long duration energy storage is key to a more sustainable future and better utilisation of renewable energy. This competition to accelerate the commercialisation of the most innovative technologies is a great initiative and StorTera are thrilled to have been selected to demonstrate the potential of our single liquid flow battery.

Patrick Dupeyrat, Director EDF R&D UK said:

Hydrogen is an exciting and provable future solution for the UK’s energy industry. Following the launch of this project, our demonstration technology will be a world first, allowing us to utilise depleted uranium to store hydrogen and provide grid flexibility. The UK’s net zero future needs hydrogen and nuclear in the mix, and HyDUS, which innovatively combines the two, makes perfect sense. We have every confidence that HyDUS will succeed and are delighted that the government has backed the project with critical research funding.

Stephen Crosher, Chief Executive of RheEnergise Ltd said:

Over the next decade, Long Duration Energy Storage can make an important contribution to the UK energy market, and indeed globally.  Long Duration Energy Storage is a key to delivering the energy transition and will help strengthen the resilience and security of the UK’s energy system. It will be essential to the effective operation of the grid as it balances intermittent renewable generation, it helps to create effective base-load power from renewables, whilst at the same time keeping costs low. Our storage system offers a solution.

BEIS’s contract is incredibly welcome and will enable us to accelerate the commercial deployment of our High-Density Hydro® storage system in the UK and overseas. With the BEIS contract in place, we will be seeking planning consent for our Devon project before the end of the year.

We are also pursuing a number of project opportunities elsewhere in the UK, continental Europe and Canada.  Drawing upon our work in Devon and the government’s welcome support, we expect to have our first 5MW grid-scale project in operation in 2026.

Andrew Bissell, CEO, Sunamp said:

We are thrilled to have received this very significant funding award, which is the result of outstanding work from our own and our partners’ product, materials and engineering teams. The money will be used to develop and test in 100 homes a first-of-a-kind thermal energy storage technology aimed at replacing fossil fuels and bringing forward the electrification of heat.

EXTEND systems in homes will help the UK ride out lulls in renewable energy generation and will allow homeowners to cut their carbon emissions and benefit from lower cost tariffs for flexible demand and participation in grid-supporting measures.

Dr Rob Barthorpe from the University of Sheffield said:

Our focus now is to make this happen. We intend to successfully demonstrate these technologies within lived-in homes, and to work with our industrial partners on scale up and commercialisation activities to bring them to market as soon as possible. We believe these technologies have the potential to play a significant role in maximising usage of renewable sources, and could provide real help to consumers during events such as the current energy crisis.

Notes to editors

The £68 million Longer Duration Energy Storage Demonstration competition is funded through the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy’s £1 billion Net Zero Innovation Portfolio, which aims to accelerate the commercialisation of innovative clean energy technologies and processes through the 2020s and 2030s.

This competition is being conducted in two phases, and across two streams. The two competition streams are designed to support technologies at different stages of development, with Stream 1 supporting actual demonstrations of technologies closer to commercialisation, and Stream 2 supporting prototype demonstrations of earlier stage innovations. Funding for Stream 2 is in the form of Small Business Research Initiative (SBRI) contracts.

Phase 2 builds on Phase 1, giving further funding to several Phase 1 projects to build and demonstrate their technology.

Link: Energy storage backed with over £32 million government funding
Source: Assent Information Services

Agreement with Singapore opens new fintech market for UK businesses

The Fintech Bridge builds on an agreement signed in 2016 – which will remove barriers to fintech trade by opening new regular talks between regulators and businesses, in addition to previous areas of cooperation

This will increase the cooperation and sharing of information on emerging trends in the fintech sector. It will also break down barriers to trade for UK and Singaporean fintechs, boosting growth and investment opportunities.

Andrew Griffith MP, Economic Secretary to the Treasury said: said:

The UK and Singapore are among the world’s leading jurisdictions for fintech investment – and today’s announcement will only accelerate growth and innovation in our respective sectors.

The MoU we’ve announced today is crucial – and I would like to thank the Monetary Authority of Singapore for their constructive engagement throughout discussions.

CEO of Innovate Finance, Janine Hirt said:

Innovate Finance welcomes this announcement. A MoU between UK and Singapore will deliver a strengthened framework for vital regulatory and policy discussions between the two countries, enable innovation across financial services, and ensure businesses based in both the UK and Singapore have the ongoing support for their ambitions for growth to be realised.

We look forward to supporting future financial dialogues and business to business activity between these markets. We are also delighted to be working with the key organisations engaged to promote the opportunities this FinTech bridge has to offer, and to welcoming FinTech businesses to IFGS and UK FinTech Week next year.

Miles Celic, Chief Executive Officer, TheCityUK, said:

The UK and Singapore are two of the world’s most dynamic and innovative FinTech markets. The FinTech Bridge will drive exciting new opportunities and greater alignment of regulatory approaches will help with the expansion of FinTechs from the UK and Singapore into each other’s markets. Greater cooperation between government, regulators and industry will boost innovation and drive better outcomes for customers.

This MoU will also further deepen the engagement and opportunities between two of the premier international financial and related professional services centres.

The existing Regulatory Cooperation Agreement signed in 2016 has enabled the UK and Singaporean fintech sectors to closely align at a regulatory level. Today’s commitment goes further in a number of areas, making clear the business support available to firms, highlight opportunities in each other’s markets and creating a clear link between challenges firms face and policy discussions.

The MoU will come into effect next week once formalities have been completed on both sides.

Further information

  • Link to joint statement: UK and Singapore deepen collaboration in FinTech and strengthen financial cooperation – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
  • The UK and Singapore are two of the world’s leading jurisdictions for fintech investment, as set out in Innovate Finance’s 2022 Summer Investment Report.
  • For instance, the report notes that in the first half of 2022 total capital invested in FinTech globally reached $59 billion – flat year-on-year. However, the UK FinTech sector continues to grow with investment reaching $9.1bn – a 24% year-on-year increase from H1 2021, and more than the rest of Europe combined.
  • Across the same period, Singapore was ranked as South East Asia’s leading jurisdiction for fintech investment, and the sixth globally.
  • In Europe, $17.6 billion was invested into European FinTech across 708 deals, a 10% increase compared to the same period of 2021.

However, such an increase has been driven by the positive growth in investment in UK FinTech. Excluding the UK, the rest of Europe was in fact down by 2% compared to the same period in 2021.

Link: Agreement with Singapore opens new fintech market for UK businesses
Source: Assent Information Services

UK finalises landmark data decision with South Korea to help unlock millions in economic growth

  • Organisations will be able to transfer personal data securely to the Republic of Korea without restrictions by the end of the year following legislation

  • UK decision will help generate an estimated £14.8 million in annual business savings and increased exports

  • Milestone formalises first data adequacy decision since UK left the European Union and goes beyond scope of previous EU deal – boosting investment.

UK organisations will be able to share personal data securely with the Republic of Korea before the end of the year as the UK finalises legislation for its first independent adequacy decision.

Allowing businesses in both countries to share data without restrictions will make it easier for them  to operate and grow. Once in force, the legislation is estimated to cut administrative and financial burdens for UK businesses by £11 million a year and is expected to increase exports to South Korea by £3.8 million annually.

Personal data is information related to an individual, such as a name or email address, and data must be protected to a high standard to ensure it’s collected, shared and used in a trustworthy way.

After agreeing to a data adequacy agreement in principle in July 2022, the UK government has completed its full assessment of the Republic of Korea’s personal data legislation. The government has concluded that the Republic of Korea has strong privacy laws in place which will protect data transfers to South Korea while upholding the rights and protections of UK citizens.

Before now, organisations needed to have costly and time-consuming contractual safeguards in place, such as standard data protection clauses and Binding Corporate Rules. The new freedoms will open up opportunities for many small and medium sized businesses who may have avoided international data transfers to Korea due to these burdens.

Removing barriers to data transfers will also boost research and innovation by making it easier for experts to collaborate on medical treatments and other vital research which could save lives in the UK. For example, secure international personal data transfers are essential for developing effective medical treatments like vaccines.

UK Data Minister Julia Lopez met with representatives of the Korean Personal Information Protection Commission today to mark the legislation being laid in Parliament, which is expected to come into force from the 19th December.

This is the UK’s first decision to recognise a priority country adequate since leaving the European Union (EU).

The UK’s adequacy decision is broader than the EU’s deal with South Korea. The most significant difference between the two deals is that UK organisations will be able to share personal data related to credit information with the Republic of Korea to help identify customers and verify payments. The ability to share this type of data will help UK businesses with a presence in the Republic of Korea to boost credit, lending, investment and insurance operations in the Republic of Korea.

Data Minister Julia Lopez said:

“ Before the end of the year, businesses will be able to share data freely with the Republic of Korea – safe in the knowledge it will be protected to the high privacy standards we expect in the UK.

“ Removing unnecessary burdens on businesses will help unleash innovation, drive growth and improve lives across both our countries.”

Ko Haksoo Chairperson of the Korean Personal Information Protection Commission said:

“ It’s a great pleasure for us to see the outcome of the UK’s adequacy decision for the Republic of Korea today.

“ I look forward to strengthening our partnership in promoting the trustworthy use and exchange of data between Korea and the UK based on a high level of data protection.”

​​The Republic of Korea is one of the fastest growing markets for the UK, with more than two-thirds of British services exports to the country data-enabled.

John Edwards, UK Information Commissioner, said:

“ We support the Government in undertaking adequacy assessments to enable personal data to flow freely to trusted partners around the world.

“ We provided advice to the Government during this assessment of the Republic of Korea, and we are satisfied with the Government’s recognition of similar data protection rights and protection in Korean laws. This will bring certainty to UK businesses and reduce the burden of compliance, while ensuring people’s data is handled responsibly.”


Notes to Editors:

  • Please see here the Statutory Instrument (legislation) that will give effect to the UK’s adequacy decision for the Republic of Korea,  is expected to come into effect on the 19th December.

  • Please see here the Explanatory Memorandum sets out the purpose of the Statutory Instrument.

  • Please see here the Impact Assessmentwhich sets out the objectives of the costs, benefits and risks.

  • In August 2021, the UK announced the Republic of Korea as a priority country for data adequacy assessments alongside the United States, Australia, Singapore, the Dubai International Finance Centre and Colombia. The government continues to make excellent progress in its assessment of these other priority countries.

  • Data enabled services exports to these destinations are already worth more than £80 billion. The ability to unlock more growth and allow us to share crucial information, such as life-saving research and cutting-edge technology innovation across our borders.

  • DCMS sectors, like tech, telecoms and the creative industries, contributed £211 billion to the economy last year and support more than four million jobs across the UK. And they are creating new jobs, with 250,000 more jobs now than in 2019, before the pandemic.

  • Exports of services by the digital sector were worth £56 billion in 2020, which is around a fifth of the UK’s total service exports.

Link: UK finalises landmark data decision with South Korea to help unlock millions in economic growth
Source: Assent Information Services

UK Export Finance commits up to £4bn to strengthen UK and Moroccan trade ties

  • Up to £4 billion available finance for overseas buyers of UK goods and services will strengthen the trade relationship between the UK and Morocco
  • Announcement comes as export credit agency appoints new International Export Finance Executive (IEFE) in Casablanca, Morocco
  • Boost for British exporters with a minimum 20% overall contract value provided to UK suppliers with any overseas project financed by UKEF

UK Export Finance (UKEF) has today announced up to £4bn is now available for Moroccan buyers for projects in the region, provided at least 20% of the content is sourced from UK businesses.

To promote UK and Moroccan trade, UKEF has appointed a new International Export Finance Executive (IEFE), based in Casablanca, to help galvanize new opportunities for UK businesses to export to the region. The financing will promote investment between the two nations by helping Moroccan buyers access support to deliver projects, provided that at least 20% of the overall contract value is sourced from UK suppliers.

Morocco offers a range of opportunities for UK businesses, such as potential projects in energy transition, water desalination, and infrastructure, including rail, roads, ports and airports to boost the domestic economy through new transport links.

The announcement comes just weeks after UKEF announced that it had deployed £2.3 billion in the continent in 2021, triple the amount invested between 2018-19. The announcement follows the UK and Morocco celebrating three centuries of shared prosperity in 2021, which marked the 300th anniversary of the first trade treaty between the two nations.

I’m proud that UKEF is playing a leading role in strengthening the historic trade relationship between the UK and Morocco, with on-the-ground presence and support from our International Finance team. UK firms have an opportunity to do more business with Morocco – a country that is seeking to deliver a more sustainable future – and we look forward to supporting projects in the region.

The British Ambassador to Morocco, Simon Martin, said:

It’s great news that UKEF now have a dedicated resource here in Morocco. The challenge is now on buyers in Morocco to bring their projects forward. With the support of UKEF we could see a new wave of investment in Moroccan infrastructure, renewables and other sectors. I am excited to see how this develops and looking forward to seeing our partnership with Morocco continue to grow.

The appointment of an IEFE in Casablanca is the latest development in UKEF’s drive to expand its global network and generate new business for UKEF and UK businesses. There are currently 18 executives in place across the Americas, South Asia, Asia Pacific and Africa, with plans to increase this number to around 30 in the next year. IEFEs work closely with overseas buyers, financial lenders, His Majesty’s Trade Commissioners and British Ambassadors to engage with overseas governments and multinational companies looking to buy from the UK – creating vital trading opportunities for British businesses.

UKEF in Africa

UK Export Finance (UKEF) has billions of pounds in capacity to support projects in African markets sourcing from the UK and can offer financing in up to 12 African currencies. It can help foreign countries access finance, loans and insurance to make their projects happen, if they commit to sourcing goods and services from the UK.

Link: UK Export Finance commits up to £4bn to strengthen UK and Moroccan trade ties
Source: Assent Information Services

Building safety levy moves a step closer

Proposals for how developers would pay to fix unsafe buildings have been set out today by the government as it moves a step closer to imposing its new Building Safety Levy.

The government has now begun consulting developers and other interested parties on the plans, which will see an estimated £3 billion collected over the next 10 years.

Under the proposals drawn by the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, developers of residential buildings, regardless of their height, will have to pay the levy contribution as part of the building control process.

This will mean that unless the levy is paid, a developer could not move on to the next stage of the building process, which could lead to project delays and impact future revenues.

Minister for Local Government and Building Safety Lee Rowley said:

We have been clear that developers must pay to fix building safety issues and the Building Safety Levy is an important part of making that a reality.

Today’s consultation will give industry and local authorities an opportunity to work with us going forward.

By having these plans in place, we can ensure that all leaseholders are protected, regardless of whether their developer has pledged to remediate or not.

The government’s proposals include an option to alter levy rates depending on where in the country the building is, with lower rates in areas where land and house prices are less expensive. It also suggests that local authorities will be best placed to act as the collection agents as they have the necessary systems, data, knowledge, and relationships in place with the developer sector.

In order to protect the supply of affordable homes, it is proposed they be exempt from a levy charge. This is alongside a number of community buildings, including NHS facilities, children’s homes and refuges, including those for victims of domestic abuse.

The levy will be reviewed regularly so that it can be adjusted to take account of changing circumstances, such as wider economic conditions. There are also plans to protect small and medium sized enterprises by excluding smaller projects.

The Building Safety Levy will run alongside the developer pledges which were announced earlier this year. Under the pledges, 49 of the UK’s biggest homebuilders have committed to fix life-critical fire-safety defects in buildings over 11 metres where they had a role in developing those buildings in the last 30 years. This amounts to a commitment of at least £2 billion.

The Building Safety Levy was first announced in February 2021 and plans to extend it to cover all residential buildings were confirmed in April 2022. The Building Safety Levy is one of the ways we will ensure that the burden of paying for fixing historic building safety defects does not fall on leaseholders or taxpayers.

The consultation seeks views on the delivery of the Levy, including how it will work, what the rates will be, who must pay, what sanctions and enforcement will apply, and who is responsible for collecting the levy.

The consultation will be open for ten working weeks from today (22 November) and seeks the views of all interested parties, especially developers of all sizes, building control professionals and local authorities. Their views will be taken into account before any final decisions are made next year.

Further information:

The consultation is available here.

Link: Building safety levy moves a step closer
Source: Assent Information Services

Government launches £1.5 million AI programme for reducing carbon emissions

  • The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy launches new innovation programme supporting the use of artificial intelligence to reduce carbon emissions
  • the AI for Decarbonisation programme forms part of the government’s £1 billion Net Zero Innovation Portfolio
  • the programme aims to stimulate further innovation in the UK in AI, to drive growth and achieve Net Zero targets

Today (Tuesday 22 November) the government has launched a new innovation programme which will support the use of artificial intelligence (AI) to reduce the UK’s carbon emissions.

The AI for Decarbonisation Programme, backed by £1.5 million in funding, forms part of the government’s £1 billion Net Zero Innovation Portfolio, and comprises separate streams of grant funding to be launched in 2 initial stages.

Stream 1, worth up to £500,000, will be made available to co-fund a virtual centre of excellence on AI innovation and decarbonisation through to March 2025, while Stream 2, worth up to £1 million, will fund innovation projects which further the development of AI technologies to support decarbonisation.

Later in 2023, the government intends to make additional funding available to support priority areas in AI innovation identified by the virtual centre of excellence as being critical for achieving net-zero.

Science Minister George Freeman said:

The UK is one of the world’s most advanced AI economies, and AI technology is already having a transformative impact on our economy and society. But there is tremendous potential to do more.

The AI for Decarbonisation programme offers an exciting opportunity to leverage and develop the UK’s outstanding expertise in the field. Putting this rapidly-evolving technology into action will enable us to save energy costs for businesses and households, create high-value, skilled jobs, and kickstart millions of pounds of private investment while supporting our net zero targets.

The programme’s objective is to stimulate further innovation in the UK in the AI sector, to drive growth and achieve our net zero ambitions by encouraging collaboration in the field across the technology, energy and industrial sectors. The programme builds on ideas developed in the National AI Strategy  published last year which set out the ways in which AI is able to support the UK in meeting its decarbonisation targets.

Projects specifically encouraged to bid for funding include uses of AI which could enable a faster transition to renewable energy, decarbonise industry by improving energy productivity and fuel switching, and decrease emissions in the agricultural sector.

The AI for Decarbonisation Programme is anticipated to increase market growth in the UK, reduce the cost of energy for a more competitive UK industry, leverage private investment in AI, and increase the consideration of ethics, bias and equity in AI technologies with decarbonisation applications.

The programme opens for applications on 22 November 2022, and closes on 19 January 2022. Applications can be made through the AI for Decarbonisation funding page.

Link: Government launches £1.5 million AI programme for reducing carbon emissions
Source: Assent Information Services

PM: UK and South Africa will turbocharge growth together

The UK and South Africa will join forces to drive economic growth and turbocharge infrastructure investment, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has announced today [Tuesday 22nd November] at the start of President Ramaphosa’s formal State Visit.

The next phase of the UK-South Africa Infrastructure Partnership is being launched today, supporting South Africa’s economic growth through major infrastructure developments and offering increased access to UK companies to projects worth up to £5.37bn over the next three years. The UK Government will also confirm new grant-funded technical assistance to South Africa to help unlock green hydrogen opportunities and boost skills in this key sector.

As an example of the opportunities for UK businesses, Globeleq – a UK company which is majority owned by British International Investment – is today announcing they have reached legal close on six solar power projects, with construction expected to kick off in South Africa next year.

South Africa is the continent’s second largest economy and is already the UK’s biggest trading partner in Africa, with trade worth £10.7 billion annually. Unlocking export finance offers significant opportunities for British businesses to invest and trade.

South Africa’s President Cyril Ramaphosa is in London for a two-day state visit, hosted by His Majesty The King. After attending a state banquet for the South African delegation this evening at Buckingham Palace, the Prime Minister will welcome President Ramaphosa to Downing Street for a bilateral meeting and lunch on Wednesday.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said:

South Africa is already the UK’s biggest trading partner on the continent, and we have ambitious plans to turbocharge infrastructure investment and economic growth together.

I look forward to welcoming President Ramaphosa to London this week to discuss how we can deepen the partnership between our two great nations and capitalise on shared opportunities, from trade and tourism and security and defence.

A new education and skills partnership between the UK and the South African governments will also promote shared learning in technical and vocational education, driving youth employment.

UK funding will build the highly sought-after technical and entrepreneurial skills in the biggest growth sectors including green technology and electric vehicle manufacture, ensuring South Africa’s youth are benefitting from the green transition.

Foreign Secretary James Cleverly said:

The UK’s relationship with South Africa is hugely important to us. Together we are working to deliver for the British and South African people, creating jobs, enhancing trade and investment, and boosting inclusive economic growth.

This week’s State Visit, the first under His Majesty The King, is a fantastic opportunity to celebrate our ties but also allows us to trigger greater growth, create even more opportunities for British and South African businesses alike, and further promote South Africa’s transition to green energy.

The South Africa Just Energy Transition Partnership, launched at COP26, also offers new opportunities to collaborate on renewable technology and green innovation. The UK and South Africa are today announcing the creation of a new Partnership on Minerals for Future Clean Energy Technologies to promote increased responsible exploration, production and processing of minerals in South and Southern Africa.

Countries in the region are among the world’s leading producers of vital minerals used in clean technology, including platinum group metals and iridium for hydrogen production and vanadium and manganese for battery storage.  This partnership will utilise the UK’s expertise as the home to leading global mining houses and financial services centre for metals to bolster sustainable and responsible production.

Trade Secretary Kemi Badenoch said:

Today we’re moving into a new era of our dynamic trade relationship with South Africa, with exciting collaboration on infrastructure, clean technology, and renewable energy sources.

These new opportunities will unlock trade and investment for businesses from the Eastern Cape to East Anglia and boost growth, create jobs and future-proof our economies against a changing world.

Link: PM: UK and South Africa will turbocharge growth together
Source: Assent Information Services

The Autumn Statement 2022 speech


Mr Speaker,

In the face of unprecedented global headwinds, families, pensioners, businesses, teachers, nurses and many others are worried about the future.

So today we deliver a plan to tackle the cost-of-living crisis and rebuild our economy.

Our priorities are stability, growth, and public services.

We also protect the vulnerable because to be British is to be compassionate and this is a compassionate government.

We are not alone facing these problems but today our plan reflects British values as we respond to an international crisis.

We are honest about the challenges and fair in our solutions.

Yes, we take difficult decisions to tackle inflation and keep mortgage rises down.

But our plan also leads to a shallower downturn; lower energy bills; higher long-term growth; and a stronger NHS and education system.


Three priorities then today: stability, growth and public services.

I start with stability.

High inflation is the enemy of stability.

It means higher mortgage rates, more expensive food and fuel bills, businesses failing and unemployment rising.

It erodes savings, causes industrial unrest, and cuts funding for public services.

It hurts the poorest the most and eats away at the trust upon which a strong society is built.

The Office for Budget Responsibility confirms global factors are the primary cause of current inflation.

Most countries are still dealing with the fallout from a once-in-a-century pandemic.

The furlough scheme, the vaccine rollout, and the response of the NHS did our country proud – but they all have to be paid for.

The lasting impact on supply chains has made goods more expensive and fueled inflation.

This has been worsened by a Made in Russia energy crisis.

Putin’s war in Ukraine has caused wholesale gas and electricity prices to rise to eight times their historic average.

Inflation is high here – but higher in Germany, the Netherlands, and Italy.

Interest rates have risen here – but faster in the US, Canada and New Zealand.

Growth forecasts have fallen here – but fallen further in Germany.

The International Monetary Fund expect one third of the world’s economy will be in recession this year or next.

So the Bank of England, which has done an outstanding job since its independence, now has my wholehearted support in its mission to defeat inflation and I today confirm we will not change its remit.

But we need fiscal and monetary policy to work together – and that means the government and the Bank working in lockstep.

It means, in particular, giving the world confidence in our ability to pay our debts.

British families make sacrifices every day to live within their means and so too must their government because the United Kingdom will always pay its way.

I understand the motivation of my predecessor’s mini-budget and he was correct to identify growth as a priority.

But unfunded tax cuts are as risky as unfunded spending which is why we reversed the planned measures quickly.

As a result, government borrowing has fallen.

The pound has strengthened.

And the OBR says today that the lower interest rates generated by the government’s actions are already benefitting our economy and sound public finances.

But credibility cannot be taken for granted and yesterday’s inflation figures show we must continue a relentless fight to bring it down, including a rock solid commitment to rebuild the public finances.

Richard Hughes and his team at the OBR today lay out starkly the impact of global headwinds on the UK economy and I am enormously grateful to him and his team for their thorough work.

The OBR forecast the UK’s inflation rate to be 9.1% this year and 7.4% next year.

They confirm that our actions today help inflation to fall sharply from the middle of next year.

They also judge that the UK, like other countries, is now in recession.

Overall this year, the economy is still forecast to grow by 4.2%.

GDP then falls in 2023 by 1.4%, before rising by 1.3%, 2.6%, and 2.7% in the following three years.

The OBR says higher energy prices explain the majority of the downward revision in cumulative growth since March.

They also expect a rise in unemployment from 3.6% today to 4.9% in 2024 before falling to 4.1%.

Today’s decisions mean that over the next five years, borrowing is more than halved.

This year, we are forecast to borrow 7.1% of GDP or £177 billion; next year, 5.5% of GDP or £140 billion; then by 2027-28, it falls to 2.4% of GDP or £69 billion.

As a result, underlying debt as a percentage of GDP starts to fall from a peak of 97.6% of GDP in 2025-26 to 97.3% in 2027-28.

I also confirm two new fiscal rules: the first is that underlying debt must fall as a percentage of GDP by the fifth year of a rolling five-year period.

The second, that public sector borrowing, over the same period, must be below 3% of GDP.

The plan I’m announcing today meets both rules.

Today’s statement delivers a consolidation of £55 billion and means inflation and interest rates end up significantly lower.

We achieve this in a balanced way.

In the short term, as growth slows and unemployment rises, we will use fiscal policy to support the economy.

The OBR confirm that because of our plans, the recession is shallower, and inflation is reduced. Unemployment is also lower with about 70,000 jobs protected as a result of our decisions today.

Then, once growth returns, we increase the pace of consolidation to get debt falling.

This further reduces the pressure on the Bank to raise interest rates because as Conservatives we do not leave our debts to the next generation.

So, Mr Speaker, this is a balanced path to stability: tackling the inflation to reduce the cost of living and protect pensioner savings whilst supporting the economy on a path to sustainable growth.

But it means taking difficult decisions.

Anyone who says there are easy answers is not being straight with the British people: some argue for spending cuts, but that would not be compatible with high quality public services.

Others say savings should be found by increasing taxes but Conservatives know that high tax economies damage enterprise and erode freedom.

We want low taxes and sound money. But sound money has to come first because inflation eats away at the pound in people’s pockets even more insidiously than taxes.

So, with just under half of the £55 billion consolidation coming from tax, and just over half from spending, this is a balanced plan for stability.


I turn first to our decisions on tax. I have tried to be fair by following two broad principles: firstly, we ask those with more to contribute more; and secondly, we avoid the tax rises that most damage growth.

Although my decisions today do lead to a substantial tax increase, we have not raised headline rates of taxation, and tax as a percentage of GDP will increase by just 1% over the next five years.

I start with personal taxes.

Asking more from those who have more means that the first difficult decision I take on tax is to reduce the threshold at which the 45p rate becomes payable from £150,000 to £125,140.

Those earning £150,000 or more will pay just over £1200 more in tax every year.

We are also taking difficult decisions on tax-free allowances.

I am maintaining at current levels the income tax personal allowance, higher rate threshold, main national insurance thresholds and the inheritance tax thresholds for a further two years taking us to April 2028.

Even after that, we will still have the most generous set of tax-free allowances of any G7 country.

I am also reforming allowances on unearned income.

The dividend allowance will be cut from £2,000 to £1,000 next year and then to £500 from April 2024.

The Annual Exempt Amount for capital gains tax will be cut from £12,300 to £6,000 next year and then to £3,000 from April 2024.

These changes still leave us with more generous allowances overall than countries like Germany, Ireland, France, and Canada.

And, because the OBR forecasts half of all new vehicles will be electric by 2025…

…to make our motoring tax system fairer I have decided that from April 2025 electric vehicles will no longer be exempt from Vehicle Excise Duty.

Company car tax rates will remain lower for electric vehicles and I have listened to industry bodies and will limit rate increases to 1ppt a year for three years from 2025.

The OBR expects housing activity to slow over the next two years, so the stamp duty cuts announced in the mini-budget will remain in place but only until 31st March 2025.

After that, I will sunset the measure, creating an incentive to support the housing market…

…and all the jobs associated with it…

…by boosting transactions during the period the economy most needs it.

I now turn to business taxes.

While I have decided to freeze the Employers NICs threshold until April 2028, we will retain the Employment Allowance at its new, higher level of £5,000. 40% of all businesses will still pay no NICs at all.

The VAT registration threshold is already more than twice as high as the EU and OECD averages. I will maintain it at that level until March 2026.

My RHF the PM successfully negotiated a landmark international tax deal to make sure multinational corporations – including big tech companies – pay the right tax in the countries where they operate.

I will implement these reforms, making sure the UK gets our fair share.

Alongside further measures to tackle tax avoidance and evasion, this will raise an additional £2.8 billion by 2027-28.

I have also heard concerning reports of abuse and fraud in R&D tax relief for SMEs.

So I have decided today to cut the deduction rate for the SME scheme to 86% and the credit rate to 10% but increase the rate of the separate R&D expenditure credit from 13% to 20%.

Despite raising revenue, the OBR have confirmed that these measures have no detrimental impact on the level of R&D investment in the economy.

Ahead of the next Budget, we will work with industry to understand what further support R&D intensive SMEs may require.

Next, windfall taxes. I have no objection to windfall taxes if they are genuinely about windfall profits caused by unexpected increases in energy prices.

But any such tax should be temporary, not deter investment and recognise the cyclical nature of energy businesses.

Taking account of this, I have decided that from January 1st until March 2028 we will increase the Energy Profits Levy from 25% to 35%.

The structure of our energy market also creates windfall profits for low-carbon electricity generation so, from January 1st, we have also decided to introduce a new, temporary 45% levy on electricity generators.

Together these taxes raise £14 billion next year.

Finally, I turn to business rates.

It is an important principle that bills should accurately reflect market values so we will proceed with the revaluation of business properties from April 2023.

But I will soften the blow on businesses with a nearly £14 billion tax cut over the next five years. Nearly two thirds of properties will not pay a penny more next year and thousands of pubs, restaurants and small high street shops will benefit.

This will include a new government funded Transitional Relief scheme as called for by the CBI, the British Retail Consortium, the Federation of Small Businesses, and others, benefitting around 700,000 businesses.

Our plan for the cost of living delivers lower inflation, lower mortgage rates, a shallower downturn, and lower unemployment.

But it also involves public spending discipline, so I turn next to how we protect public services through a challenging period.

Public Spending

The Prime Minister’s vision for this country has at its heart a strong NHS and world-class education.

We know that a strong economy depends on strong public services so will protect them as much as we can as we deliver our plan for stability and growth.

We have to take difficult decisions on the public finances.

So we are going to grow public spending – but we’re going to grow it more slowly than the growth of the economy.

For the remaining two years of this Spending Review, we will protect the increases in departmental budgets we have already set out in cash terms.

And we will then grow resource spending at 1% a year in real terms, in the three years that follow.

Although departments will have to make efficiencies to deal with inflationary pressures in the next two years, this decision means overall spending in public services will continue to rise, in real terms, for the next five years.

Before I turn to our plans for schools and the NHS, I start with two other areas of spending.


The Department for Work and Pensions has a critical role in supporting people into work.

I am proud to live in a country with one of the most comprehensive safety nets anywhere in the world…

…but also concerned that we have seen a sharp increase in economically inactive working age adults of 630,000 since the start of the pandemic.

Employment levels have yet to return to pre-pandemic levels which is bad for businesses who cannot fill vacancies and bad for people missing out on the opportunity to do well for themselves and their families.

So the PM has asked the Work and Pensions Secretary to thoroughly review issues holding back workforce participation due to conclude early in the new year.

Alongside this, I am also committed to helping people already in-work to raise their incomes, progress in work, and become financially independent.

That is why we will ask over 600,000 more people on Universal Credit to meet with a work coach so that they can get the support they need to increase their hours or earnings.

I have also decided to move back the managed transition of people from Employment and Support Allowance onto Universal Credit to 2028…

…and will invest an extra £280m in DWP to crack down on benefit fraud and error over the next two years.

The Government’s review of the state pension age will be published in early 2023.

Defence and international commitments

Our security at home depends on our security overseas, so I turn next to defence and other international commitments.

The privilege of being this country’s Foreign Secretary showed me first hand the enormous respect in which this country is held because the United Kingdom is and has always been a force for good in the world.

Nothing sums that up more than the courage of our armed forces, men and women who risk their lives every day in defence of our territory and our belief in freedom.

Alongside them, I salute the citizens of another country right on the frontline of that fight – the brave people of Ukraine.

The United Kingdom has given them military support worth £2.3 billion since the start of Putin’s invasion…

…the second highest contribution in the world after the United States…

…which demonstrates that our commitment to democracy and open societies remains steadfast.

In that context, the Prime Minister and I both recognise the need to increase defence spending.

But before we make that commitment it is necessary to revise and update the Integrated Review, written as it was before the Ukraine invasion.

I have asked for that vital work to be completed ahead of the next budget and today confirm we will continue to maintain the defence budget at least 2% of GDP to be consistent with our NATO commitment.

Another important international commitment is to overseas aid.

The OBR’s forecasts show a significant shock to public finances so it will not be possible to return to the 0.7% target until the fiscal situation allows.

We remain fully committed to the target and the plans I have set out today assume that ODA spending will remain around 0.5% for the forecast period.

As a percentage of GNI, we were the third highest donor in the G7 last year and I am proud that our aid commitment has saved thousands of lives around the world.

I look forward to working closely with my RHF the Member for Sutton Coldfield, now rightly back in his place in Cabinet, to make sure we continue to play a leadership role in tackling global poverty.

The United Kingdom has also been a global leader on climate change, cutting emissions by more than any other G20 country.

But with the existential vulnerability we face now would be the wrong time to step back from our international climate responsibilities…

…so I can confirm that despite the economic pressures we face, we remain fully committed to the historic Glasgow Climate Pact agreed at COP26 including a 68% reduction in our emissions by 2030.


I turn to education. Being pro-education is being pro-growth.

But providing our children with a good education is not just an economic mission, it’s a moral mission – one to which my RHF the Prime Minister has always been deeply committed.

Thanks to the efforts of successive education ministers, particularly my RHFs from Surrey Heath and Bognor Regis, we have risen 9 places in the global league tables for maths and reading since 2015.

I still, however, have concerns that not all school leavers get the skills they need for a modern economy.

Our current Education Secretary left school at 16 to become an apprentice, and knows first hand why good skills matter.

There are many important initiatives in place but as Chancellor I want to know the answer to one simple question: will every young person leave the education system with the skills they would get in Japan, Germany or Switzerland?

So I have appointed Sir Michael Barber to advise me and my RHF the Education Secretary on the implementation of our skills reforms programme.

But as we raise the skill levels of our school leavers, I want to ensure that even in an economic crisis, the improvement in school standards continues to accelerate.

Some have suggested putting VAT on independent school fees as a way of increasing core funding for schools, which would raise around £1.7 billion.

But according to certain estimates this would result in up to 90,000 children from the independent sector switching to state schools, giving with one hand and taking away with another.

So instead of being ideological I am going to be practical.

Because this government wants school standards continue to rise for every single child, we’re going to do more than protect the schools budget – we’re going to increase it.

I can announce today that next year and the year after, we will invest an extra £2.3 billion per year in our schools.

Our message to heads and teachers and classroom assistants today is thank you for your brilliant work, we need it to continue…

…and in difficult economic circumstances, we are investing more in the public service that defines all of our futures.

Health and Social care

Mr Speaker, the service we depend on more than any other is the NHS.

As a former Health Secretary, I know how hard people are working on the frontline and how much they are struggling after the pandemic.

The biggest issues are workforce shortages and pressures in the social care sector so today I address them both.

On staff shortages, the former Chair of the Health and Social Care Select Committee put forward the case for a long-term workforce plan.

I have listened carefully to his proposals and believe they have merit.

So the Department of Health and Social Care and the NHS will publish…

…an independently-verified plan for the number of doctors, nurses and other professionals we will need in 5, 10 and 15 years’ time…

…taking full account of the need for better retention and productivity improvements.

I have also listened to extensive representations about the challenges facing the social care sector.

It did a heroic job looking after children, disabled adults, and older people during the pandemic.

Its 1.6 million employees work incredibly hard. But even outside the pandemic, the increasing number of over 80s is putting massive pressure on their services.

I also heard the very real concerns from local authorities about their ability to deliver the Dilnot reforms immediately…

…so will delay the implementation of this important reform for two years, allocating the funding to allow local authorities to provide more care packages.

I also want the social care system to help free up some of the 13,500 hospital beds that are occupied by those who should be at home.

I have therefore decided to allocate for adult social care additional grant funding of £1 billion next year and £1.7 billion the year after.

Combined with the savings from the delayed Dilnot reforms and more council tax flexibilities, this means an increase in funding available for the social care sector of up to £2.8 billion next year and £4.7 billion the year after.

How we look after our most vulnerable citizens is not just a practical issue but speaks to our values as a society…

…so today’s increase in funding will allow the social care system to help deliver an estimated 200,000 more care packages over the next two years…

…the biggest increase under any government of any colour in history.

The NHS budget has been increased to record levels to deal with the pandemic and today I am asking it to join all public services in tackling waste and inefficiency.

We want Scandinavian quality alongside Singaporean efficiency, both better outcomes for citizens and better value for taxpayers.

That does not mean asking people on the frontline, often exhausted and burned out, to work harder, which would not be fair.

But it does mean asking challenging questions about how to reform all our public services for the better.

With respect to the NHS I have asked former Health Secretary and Chair of the Norfolk and Waveney Integrated Care System Patricia Hewitt…

…to help me and the Health Secretary achieve that by advising us on how to make sure the new Integrated Care Boards operates efficiently with appropriate autonomy and accountability.

I have also had discussions with NHS England about the inflationary pressures on their budget.

I recognize that efficiency savings alone will not be enough to deliver the services we all need.

So because of difficult decisions taken elsewhere today I will increase the NHS budget, in each of the next two years, by an extra £3.3 billion.

The Chief Executive of the NHS, Amanda Pritchard, has said this should provide sufficient funding for the NHS to fulfil its key priorities and shows the government is serious about its commitment to prioritise the NHS.

That is why today we commit to a record £8 billion package for our health and social care system – a government putting the NHS first.

And, Mr Speaker, the NHS and schools in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland face equivalent pressures so the Barnett consequentials of today’s decisions mean…

…an extra £1.5 billion for the Scottish Government; £1.2 billion for the Welsh Government, and £650m for the Northern Ireland Executive.

Mr Speaker, our support for public services means that despite needing to find £55 billion in savings and tax rises, we are protecting the amount going into public services in real terms over the five-year period.

But if we are going to sustain our public services and avoid a doom loop of ever higher taxes and ever lower dynamism, we need economic growth.

So today I also outline our three priorities for growth.


Mr Speaker,

You cannot borrow your way to growth. Sound money is the rock on which long term prosperity rests – but it is not enough on its own.

Our plan is designed to build a high wage, high skill economy that leads to long-term prosperity. In his Mais lecture, My RHF friend the Prime Minister identified the keys to doing this – people, capital and ideas.

Today’s increase in the education budget demonstrates our commitment to people and skills and I now outline three further growth priorities – energy, infrastructure and innovation.


Cheap, low carbon, reliable energy must sit at the heart of any modern economy.

But Putin’s weaponisation of international gas prices has helped drive the cost of our national energy consumption right up.

This year we will be spending an extra £150 billion on energy compared to pre-pandemic levels, equivalent to paying for an entire second NHS through our energy bills.

In 2019, a third of global emissions came from the energy supply so unless we radically change our approach we will both bankrupt our economy and harm our planet.

Over the long term, there is only one way to stop ourselves being at the mercy of international gas prices: energy independence combined with energy efficiency.

Energy independence, so neither Putin or anyone else can use energy to blackmail us; and energy efficiency to reduce demand and climate impact as much as possible.

Britain is a global leader in renewable energy.

Last year nearly 40% of our electricity came from offshore wind, solar and other renewable sources.

Since 2010, our renewable energy production grew faster than any other large country in Europe.

We need to go further, with a major acceleration of home-grown technologies like offshore wind, carbon capture and storage, and, above all, nuclear.

This will deliver new jobs, industries and export opportunities and secure the clean, affordable energy we need to power our future economy and reach Net Zero..

So I can today announce that the government will proceed with the new plant at Sizewell C.

Subject to final government approvals, the contracts for the initial investment will be signed with relevant parties, including EDF, in the coming weeks.

This will create 10,000 highly skilled jobs and provide reliable, low-carbon, power to the equivalent of 6 million homes for over 50 years.

Our £700 million investment is the first state backing for a nuclear project in over 30 years and represents the biggest step in our journey to energy independence.

But energy efficiency is just as important.

So today, we set our country a new ambition: by 2030, we want to reduce energy consumption from buildings and industry by 15%.

Reducing demand by this much means, in today’s prices, a £28 billion saving from our national energy bill or £450 off the average household bill.

This must be a shared mission with families and businesses playing their part – but so will the government.

In this Parliament, we’re already planning to invest, in energy efficiency, a total of £6.6 billion.

Today, I’m announcing new funding, from 2025, of a further £6 billion – doubling our annual investment to deliver this new national ambition.

Our commitment to the British people is, over time, to remove this single biggest driver of inflation and volatility facing British businesses and consumers.

My RHF the Business and Energy Secretary will publish further details on our energy independence plans and launch a new Energy Efficiency Taskforce shortly.


Mr Speaker,

If a modern economy needs secure, clean and affordable energy – it also needs good roads, rail, broadband and 5G infrastructure.

Such connections allow wealth and opportunity to spread which is why infrastructure is our second growth priority.

Thanks to decisions by this government, right now workers right across the country are building or maintaining thousands of miles of roads and railways; installing mobile masts and broadband cables to connect the remotest parts of rural Britain; building and repairing hospitals; and constructing new wind turbines in the North Sea.

When looking for cuts, capital is sometimes seen as an easy option.

But doing so limits not our budgets but our future.

So today I can announce that I am not cutting a penny from our capital budgets in the next two years and maintaining them at that level in cash terms for the following three years.

This means that although we are not growing our capital budget as planned, it will still increase from £63 billion four years ago to £114 billion next year and £115 billion the year after – and remain at that level..

Smart countries build on their long-term commitments rather than discard them.

So today I confirm that because of this decision, alongside Sizewell C, we will deliver the core Northern Powerhouse Rail. HS2 to Manchester. East West Rail. The new hospitals programme. And gigabit broadband rollout.

All these and more will be funded as promised, with over £600 billion of investment over the next five years to connect our country and grow our economy.

Our national mission is to level up economic opportunity across the country.

And that too, needs investment in infrastructure.

So I will proceed with round 2 of the levelling up fund, at least matching the £1.7 billion value of Round One.

We will also drive growth across the UK by working with the Scottish Government on the feasibility study for the A75, supporting the Advanced Technology Research Centre in Wales, and funding a trade and investment event in Northern Ireland next year.

But to unlock growth right across the country, we need to make it easier for local leaders to make things happen without banging on a Whitehall door.

Our brilliant mayors have shown the power of civic entrepreneurship.

But we need more of this inspirational local leadership.

So today I can announce a new devolution deal that will bring an elected Mayor to Suffolk, and deals to bring Mayors to Cornwall, Norfolk and an area in the North-East to follow shortly.

We are making progress towards trailblazer devolution deals with the Greater Manchester Combined Authority and West Midlands Combined Authority, and soon over half of England will be covered by devolution deals.

Taken together, that £600 billion investment over the next five years means the largest investment in public works for forty years.

Our children and grandchildren can be confident that this Conservative government is investing in their future.


Energy and infrastructure…and now our third growth priority – innovation.

We have a national genius for innovation.

Britain is the land of Newton, Darwin, Fleming, Faraday, Franklin, Gilbert and Berners Lee.

The home of three of the world’s top 10 universities.

The country with the largest life sciences largest technology sectors in Europe.

Thanks to successive Conservative governments, we remain a science superpower and I salute the work of former Chancellor George Osborne, my RHF from Tunbridge Wells and my HF the Science Minister and Member for Mid Norfolk for laying the vital foundations to make this possible.

21st century economies will be defined by new developments in artificial intelligence, quantum technologies and robotics.

But we need to be better at turning world class innovation into world class companies.

So as a former entrepreneur, I had to get it in somewhere… I want to combine our technology and science brilliance with our formidable financial services to turn Britain into the world’s next Silicon Valley.

We learned from the success of Nigel Lawson’s Big Bang in 1986 that smart regulatory reform can spur investment from all over the world.

So today, using our Brexit freedoms, I confirm the next step in our supply side transformation.

By the end of next year, we will decide and announce changes to EU regulations in our five growth industries: digital technology, life sciences, green industries, financial services and advanced manufacturing.

And I have asked the Chief Scientific Adviser Sir Patrick Vallance who did such a brilliant job in the pandemic, to lead new work on how we should change regulation to better support safe and fast introduction of new emerging technologies.

The second lesson of Nigel Lawson’s Big Bang is that the most important driver of global success is not tax subsidies but competition.

So we will legislate to give the Digital Markets Unit new powers to challenge monopolies and increase the competitive pressure to innovate.

To further spur competition, I have listened to requests from businesses and today I’m removing import tariffs on over 100 goods used by UK businesses in their production processes, from car seat parts to bicycle frames.

I will also change our approach to investment zones which will now focus on leveraging our research strengths, to help build clusters for our new growth industries.

My RHF the Levelling Up Secretary will work with Mayors, Devolved Administrations and local partners to achieve that with the first decisions announced ahead of the Spring budget.

I have also heard some speculation that we might cut the research and development budget today.

I believe that would be a profound mistake.

In 2017, we announced a target to invest 2.4% of our GDP in R & D and the latest ONS data suggests the UK is close to meeting that target.

I want to go further, so today I protect our entire research budget and confirm that we will increase public funding for R&D to £20 billion by 2024-5 as part of our mission to make the United Kingdom a science superpower.

And finally Nigel Lawson’s Big Bang inspires us today – but nearly 40 years on we must stay true to its mission to make the UK the world’s most innovative and competitive global financial centre.

So to further support investment across our economy, I can also announce we are publishing our decision on Solvency II, which will unlock tens of billions of pounds of investment for our growth-enhancing industries.

Three priorities for growth, then. Energy security, investment in infrastructure and a plan to turn the United Kingdom into the world’s next Silicon Valley.

Transforming British intellectual genius into British commercial success.

But alongside British genius we must also remember another great national quality, British compassion.

The final part of our plan protects the most vulnerable. It is to that I now turn.

Protecting the Most Vulnerable

Strong public finances are not just to make accountants happy.

It is because we took difficult decisions in 2010 that we could afford record funding increases for the NHS, the landmark furlough scheme, and now the Energy Price Guarantee.

Today the discipline we have shown means we can provide targeted support to help our most vulnerable citizens with the cost of living.

Energy Support

One of the biggest worries for families is energy bills, and I pay credit to my predecessor the Rt Hon Member for Spelthorne and the former Prime Minister the Rt Hon Member for South West Norfolk for their leadership in this area.

This winter, we will stick with the plan to spend £55 billion to help households and businesses with their energy bills – one of the largest support plans in Europe.

From April, we will continue the Energy Price Guarantee for a further 12 months at a higher level of £3000 per year for the average household.

With prices forecast to remain elevated through next year, this will still mean an average of £500 support for every household in the country.

At the same time, for the most vulnerable we will introduce additional cost of living payments next year, of £900 to households on means-tested benefits; £300 to pensioner households; and £150 for individuals on disability benefit.

We will also provide an additional £1 billion of funding to enable a further twelve-month extension to the Household Support Fund, helping Local Authorities to assist those who might otherwise fall through the cracks.

And for those households who use alternative fuels such as heating oil and LPG to heat their homes, I am today doubling the amount of support from £100 to £200, which will be delivered as soon as possible this winter.

Before the end of this year, we will also bring forward a new targeted approach to support businesses from next April.

Vulnerable people and pensioners

I want to go further to support people most exposed to high inflation.

Around four million families live in the social rented sector – almost one fifth of households in England.

Their rents are set at one per cent above the September inflation rate which means that on current plans they are set to see rent hikes next year of up to 11%.

For many, that would clearly be unaffordable so today I can announce that this government will cap the increase in social rents at a maximum of 7% in 2023-24.

Compared to current plans, that is a saving for the average tenant of £200 next year.

This government introduced the National Living Wage which has been a giant step to eliminating low pay.

So today I am accepting the recommendation of the Low Pay Commission to increase it next year by 9.7%.

That means, from April 2023, the hourly rate will be £10.42 which represents an annual pay rise worth over £1600 to a full-time worker.

It is expected to benefit over two million of the lowest paid workers in the country and keeps us on track for our target to reach two thirds of median earnings by 2024.

And it is the largest cash increase in the UK’s National Living Wage ever.

Mr Speaker, there have also been some representations to keep the uplift to working age and disability benefits below the level of inflation given the financial constraints we face.

But that would not be consistent with our commitment to protect the most vulnerable so today I also commit to uprate such benefits by inflation with an increase of 10.1%.

That is an expensive commitment costing £11 billion.

But it means 10 million working age families will see a much-needed increase next year.

On average, a family on Universal Credit will benefit next year by around £600.

And to increase the number of households who can benefit from this decision I will also exceptionally increase the benefit cap with inflation next year.

Finally, Mr Speaker, I have talked a lot today about British values – of compassion, hard work, dignity, fairness.

There is no more British value than our commitment to protect and honour those who built the country we live in.

To support the poorest pensioners, I have decided to increase pension credit by 10.1% which is worth up to £1470 for a couple and £960 for a single pensioner in our most vulnerable households.

But the cost of living crisis is harming not just poor pensioners but all pensioners so because we have taken difficult decisions elsewhere in this statement, I can today announce that we will fulfil our pledge to the country to protect the pensions Triple Lock.

So, in April, the state pension will increase in line with inflation, an £870 increase which represents the biggest ever cash increase in the state pension.

To the millions of pensioners who will benefit from this measure I say – now and always, this government is on your side.


Mr Speaker,

There is a global energy crisis, a global inflation crisis and a global economic crisis.

But the British people are tough, inventive and resourceful.

We have risen to bigger challenges before.

We aren’t immune to these headwinds but with this plan for stability, growth and public services, we will face into the storm.

There may be a recession Made in Russia but there is a recovery Made in Britain.

And we commitment to our plan today with British resilience and British compassion.

Because of the difficult decisions we take in our plan…

We strengthen our public finances…

…bring down inflation.

…and protect jobs.

We build the first state backed nuclear power station for 30 years.

And continue the biggest programme of capital investment for 40 years.

We protect standards in schools.

….cut NHS waiting times.

…fund social care.

…cap energy bills.

…support those on benefits.

We protect workers with the biggest ever increase in the National Living Wage…

…and our pensioners on the triple lock with the biggest ever increase in the state pension.

It is a balanced plan for stability, a plan for growth and a plan for public services.

It shows that you don’t need to choose either a strong economy or good public services…

… I commend this statement to the House.

Link: The Autumn Statement 2022 speech
Source: Assent Information Services