UK: weakened by revelations, Chancellor of the Exchequer calls for internal investigation

British Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak has called for an internal inquiry into his tax situation to try to put an end to criticism following cascading revelations about, in particular, the millions saved in tax by his wealthy wife.

Rishi Sunak announced on Twitter on Sunday night that he had written to Prime Minister Boris Johnson to tell him of his intention to seize Christopher Geidt, the Downing Street adviser responsible for compliance with the Ministerial Act. The aim is for Christopher Geidt to review the declarations of interest that Rishi Sunak must submit as part of his ministerial function.

“I am confident that such a review will show that all relevant information has been declared,” the finance minister wrote.

The searing revelations last week about the millions saved in tax by his wealthy wife and then those about the US residency he held until last year have damaged the reputation of the finance minister, again recently a darling of the Conservatives.

An American “Green Card”

Akshata Murty, his Indian wife, benefits from “non-resident” status in the UK – even though she lives in London – which allows her not to pay tax on her foreign income.

The minister’s lack of transparency with the tax authorities has prompted an internal investigation into his tax situation in an attempt to put an end to criticism after cascading revelations about, in particular, the millions saved in tax by his wealthy wife.

She announced on Friday that she would give up that benefit, but criticism continued to pour in, pointing to the minister’s lack of transparency about her deals with the tax authorities at a time when British households are crumbling under a historic price rise.

Rishi Sunak also admitted on Friday that until last year he had a US green card that granted him permanent residence in the US. His name also appears in trusts in the British Virgin Islands and the Cayman Islands, two tax havens, according to The Independent newspaper.

Leave a Comment