UK Finance Minister Rishi Sunak makes rich list for first time
London: Finance Minister Rishi Sunak became the first high-profile British politician to appear on the Sunday Times Rich List on Friday, weeks after his family’s tax arrangements sparked controversy and amid a crisis of the cost of living.
Sunak and his Indian wife Akshata Murty, whose father co-founded IT giant Infosys, made the annual list for the first time with their joint fortune of 730 million pounds ($911 million, 861 million euros). ).
The bulk of their wealth is believed to come from Murty’s £690m stake in Infosys, but Sunak also had a highly lucrative career in finance before entering politics in 2015.
The list, which began in 1989, this year estimates the minimum wealth of the 250 richest individuals or families in Britain, and has far fewer Russian billionaires due to Western sanctions following the invasion of Ukraine.
Sunak’s inclusion comes a month after it was revealed his wife was shielded from paying foreign income tax to his Treasury Department after claiming so-called non-domiciled status.
The ‘no-dom’ scheme has become controversial in recent years, particularly now that Britons are facing tax hikes and the cost of living crisis, with some opposition parties calling for its abolition.
It has been estimated that Murty’s non-dom status could have saved him £20 million in tax on dividends from his shares in Infosys.
Shortly after the revelations emerged, she announced she would start paying UK tax on ‘all worldwide income’, noting she didn’t want her tax affairs to be a ‘distraction’ for her husband .
Sunak has also faced persistent criticism for doing too little to help struggling Britons as his once rosy prospects of succeeding Prime Minister Boris Johnson have rapidly waned.
Critics accused him of hypocrisy for raising personal taxes as various prices rose, while his own family saw millions of pounds of Infosys dividends shielded from their own treasury.
Just this week he warned in a keynote address to business leaders that Britons face “difficult” months ahead, with inflation confirmed as the highest rate in decades at 9%.
The Sunday Times list calculates identifiable wealth – land, property, racehorses, art or large shares in publicly traded companies – but is unable to measure bank account balances and small stakes in private equity portfolios .
Sri and Gopi Hinduja, who run Mumbai-based conglomerate Hinduja Group, topped the latest ranking after their wealth rose by more than £11 billion to £28.47 billion.
Entrepreneur James Dyson and his family have risen to second with a wealth estimate of £23billion.
However, one billionaire who headed in the opposite direction was Roman Abramovich.
The former Russian owner of Chelsea Football Club fell from eighth to 28th after his finances plummeted from £12.2bn last year to £6bn this year following Western sanctions.