Rishi Sunak is trying to curry sympathy from the public by pretending that somebody has launched a campaign to discredit him by linking him with the way his wife avoids paying UK tax.
He is – as in so many of his political choices – completely wrong.
Nobody needs to use his wife to discredit Sunak – they only need to look at his own decisions:
- He vetoed a plan to save the poorest families from soaring energy bills, according to a government leak.
Three options were put forward: increasing the £200 loan payment for all households (to be paid in the autumn) to “£500 or more”, either for all households or for the poorest; delaying repayment of the £200, which the Treasury is saying must be repaid at the rate of £40 a year over the following five years; or exempting the poorest homes from the need to repay at all, turning the loan into a grant.
Sunak apparently refused to consider any of these options, which are said to have come from Kwasi Kwarteng’s Business, Innovation and Skills Department. If he really does think fellow members of the government are briefing the press against him, then Kwarteng seems a likely candidate for suspicion.
2. He blocked plans to reduce millions of energy bills by making homes more energy efficient, according to another government leak.
It seems both Downing Street and Kwarteng’s team were hoping for an expansion of the Energy Company Obligation (Eco) scheme to be included in this week’s energy security strategy, with £200 million extra per year meaning the scheme could be expanded beyond only those receiving benefits to thousands more people.
Sunak apparently rejected the ideas because he is sticking to pledges he made in autumn 2021 – even though inflation means his tax take is around two-and-a-half times what he expected to make from those proposals and he is entirely capable of doing as suggested.
3. He has benefited from his non-dom wife’s ability to avoid paying UK tax while increasing the tax burden on the rest of us to its highest level since World War 2.
As Akshata Murthy’s husband, Sunak shares his household with her and must, therefore, enjoy some of the benefits of her income. As a non-dom living in the UK, she has been able to avoid paying an estimated £2.1 million per year.
Sunak himself is said to have held a US Green Card, which allows people to live and work permanently in the United States but demands that he pay US tax on his worldwide income, until October last year – long after he became Chancellor in 2020 – meaning he may have avoided paying UK tax for the more-than-four years between that date and his joining the government in 2017.
Meanwhile, by freezing the thresholds at which people move into different tax bands, Sunak has ensured that more people are paying Income Tax at higher rates; he has also introduced a 10 per cent increase in National Insurance payments. The tax burden on UK citizens who have no choice other than to pay up is now at its highest level since the mid-1940s.
It’s a filthy record; it reads more like a charge sheet than a history of achievements.
But Rishi Rich still wants you to believe he and his wife are being smeared by malicious colleagues.
Isn’t it more accurate to say that the skeletons in his closet are coming to light at last?
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“Curry sympathy”? That’s a really low blow, and borderline* racist. You’re better than that, and the story doesn’t need it. The facts should speak for themselves – which they do.
*not really borderline, thinking about it.
Not racist at all. I was using the word in a perfectly acceptable way and in fact it did not enter my mind that a racist meaning might be applied to it.
I really am better than that.
Perhaps you need to take a harder look at yourself, since you are the one who is so keen to attach racism to innocent language.
“Innocent language”? Really??
There are several different phrases you could have used. “Curry favour” when referring to a person of Asian origin – you expect anyone to think that was an accident? Come off it. Either change it (as it’s an unfortunate phrase), or just admit it was a joke that, frankly, backfired and wasn’t funny.