In the United Kingdom, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak, in turmoil


The star of Rishi Sunak, Boris Johnson’s brilliant Chancellor of the Exchequer, has suddenly faded in recent days. Considered, until the beginning of spring, as the most popular of the Conservative MPs – one of the few able to push the Prime Minister towards the exit – the elected official from Yorkshire (north of England) must now defend his footing his reputation and that of his wife on foot, as revelations about their personal fortunes pile up.

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Thursday, April 7, the daily The Independent claimed that Akshata Murty, his wife, had a specific tax status, the non-domiciled status (“non-domiciled status”), allowing him to pay no tax in the United Kingdom on his income generated abroad. Of Indian nationality, Murty is the daughter of the founder of Infosys, one of the largest IT services companies in the world. It owns 0.93% of the capital of the group, or more than 500 million pounds sterling (600 million euros). In 2021, its dividends reached £11.6 million (they would have been taxed at 39.35% in the UK).

Non-dom status is granted by the UK tax authorities to people living in the UK if they can show that they intend to return to their country of origin one day. Responding promptly to The Sun, Rishi Sunak denounced “a smear campaign” actually intended to achieve it, and asserted that his wife’s tax scheme was not intended to avoid tax. “Of course she pays tax on every penny she earns in the UK! »he launched.

‘Staggering hypocrisy’

His defense did not last long: Friday, April 8, Mme Murty has announced that he will renounce his specific tax status (a priori perfectly legal), while attacks from opposition parties have multiplied. Keir Starmer, the leader of Labor (Labour Party), lambasted a “staggering hypocrisy” from the Sunak-Murty couple, who would try to optimize their tax slip at a time when the British are experiencing the highest tax increase in half a century.

This “Rishi” affair comes as, on Friday 1er April, the energy bill of private individuals grew by an average of 54%, with almost no aid from the State, Mr. Sunak refusing to come massively to the aid of households. On Wednesday April 6, the increase in National Insurance (Social Security) for employees and employers also came into force, an unprecedented tax increase (+ 1.25% on average) for a conservative government, supposed to bail out the system. of public health.

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