Labour has called on Boris Johnson to confirm none of his other ministers have ever had non-domiciled tax status or are making use of tax loopholes in the wake of revelations about Rishi Sunak’s family.
Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer today said the Prime Minister “needs to bring this saga to a close and confirm that no other sitting Conservative minister is doing or has done anything to reduce their own personal tax bill, while they preside over the biggest tax hike in 70 years”.
It was reported by The Independent last week that Sunak’s wife Akshata Murthy, who is worth around £700m personally and is the heiress to a £3.5bn fortune, was a non-domicile and paid tax on her overseas earnings to India.
The chancellor’s wife is unable to get British citizenship, unless she renounces her Indian citizenship, and made £11.9m last year on dividends from her Mumbai-listed shares.
Murthy changed her tax designation on Friday so that she will pay tax on all her earnings in the UK in the face of increasing suggestions by Tory MPs and ministers that Sunak may have to quit.
Health secretary Sajid Javid also revealed he had been a non-dom for six years when he was a banker.
“While he insists on making working people pay more taxes, the Prime Minister owes it to the public to confirm his cabinet are not finding ways to pay less,” Starmer said.
“The scale of the chancellor’s hypocrisy is difficult to swallow against the backdrop of a cost of living crisis. We now know that the health secretary – the former chancellor – also knows his way around a tax reduction scheme.
“To appoint one chancellor with suspect tax affairs is sloppy, to appoint two is a habit. It really is one rule for them, and another for everyone else.”
Sunak came under even further pressure last week when it was revealed by Sky News that he held a US green card – which means he pledged to pay some tax to the US every year and that America would be his forever home – up until last year.
The series of stories spurred one Tory minister to tell City A.M. that Sunak’s position looked untenable while he was increasing the UK tax burden to the highest level in 70 years.
When pushed on the tax status of other ministers by Sky News, environment secretary George Eustice today said: “I’m not the accountant for my ministerial colleagues in cabinet.
“I don’t know of anybody who may or may not have had non-dom status. I can tell you that I would never have and never seek to have one.”