Following Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher’s market reforms in the 1980’s, Britain’s economy grew steadily throughout the 1990’s and it is now the world’s fifth largest. After successive Labour governments in the early 2000s, the Conservatives returned to power in 2010. In June 2016, the UK voted by popular referendum to leave the European Union.
The process of exiting the European Union will afford the government opportunities to correct any remaining structural deficiencies that might be holding back an already high-performing economy. The UK showed resilience in recovering from the financial crisis, aided by effective rule of law, an open trade regime, and a well-developed financial sector. The already liberal labour market can be made more flexible after “Brexit”. The UK has one of the world’s most efficient business and investment environments and will soon be open to expanded global trade relationships.
Services especially banking, insurance and business services are key drivers of GDP growth.
London is at the heart of Britain’s economy. More than one-third of Britain’s population and economic activity is concentrated in southeastern England, in and around London. More than a hundred of the world’s major companies have their headquarters in London. What Londoners do for a living has changed considerably since the city was a commercial and industrial center in the 19th century. Manufacturing has steadily declined and today accounts for only 10 percent of total employment. The printing and publishing industry is now a leading employer. Also important are the following industries and services: media, technology, tourism, electrical and electronic engineering, food, drink, tobacco, chemicals and synthetic fibers. The service sector today employs 85% of London’s workforce.
Value Added Tax (VAT): VAT is a tax on the final consumption of certain goods and services in the home market and is currently levied at 20%. All prices displayed in shops will be tax inclusive.
Income Tax: Personal income is levied on a progressive scale. Income tax is levied at 20% up to a taxable income of £11,850-£46,350. There is a higher rate of 40% for income between £46,351-£150,000 and an additional rate of 45% for income over £150,000. Corporate Tax: rate is 19% as at April 2018. For more information: www.gov.uk/income-tax-rates
Currently unemployment in the UK is 4.2 percent and inflation at 2.4 percent as at April 2018.
The cost of living in the UK is very high and is dependent on your geographical location.