Ed Balls slams Sunak non-dom revelations

The ex shadow chancellor Ed Balls has urged an overhaul of “non-domiciled” tax statuses in the wake of revelations regarding the current chancellor’s wife.

When Gordon Brown became chancellor in 1997, Balls became his Chief Economic Adviser, a position he held until 1999 when he was appointed Economic Adviser to the Treasury (1999-2004). In 2005, Balls was elected as the Labour MP for Normanton in Yorkshire. The seat was later renamed Morley and Outwood.

Yesterday evening chancellor Rishi Sunak wrote to Boris Johnson to request an independent review by Lord Geidt of his complete formal statements on his finances since joining the Cabinet in 2018.

The letter comes after a flurry of revelations about his family tax and residency affairs over the past week, including the non-domicile status of his wife Ashkata Murty, concerns over his investments, and the admission that both himself and Murty held US green cards.

In an interview with LBC Radio this afternoon Balls said Rishi Sunak: “will have to act now on non-dom tax status” as his “position now won’t be secure unless he sorts this out”.

“But is now the time for there to be a change in non-doms? I think the answer there is yes. And the Labour Party I know are doing a review to decide what they’re going to propose,” he went on.

“If I had to have a hunch for your listeners, I would say this Chancellor will have to act now on non-dom tax status and pre-empt what comes from the opposition parties, because his position now won’t be secure unless he sorts this out.”

When quizzed over whether he thought criticism of the chancellor’s wife was unfair, he explained: “I’m afraid that if as a Chancellor, you are putting up taxes in a time when there’s a cost of living pressure like this, and people then discover that you and your family aren’t paying the same taxes as everybody else, that’s pretty hard to explain.

“And I’m not quite sure how the chancellor could have ever have thought that this would be acceptable if it came to light,” he went on.