– How wealthy is the former ?
In May 2022, made his debut on the . Sunak, alongside his heiress wife, , were said to have a combined fortune of £730 million.
According to the II, whose personal wealth was estimated at £350 million. List, Mr and Mrs Sunak are the 222nd wealthiest people in the UK. They were said to be twice as wealthy as
Sunak is the first serving the ever to sit in the House of Commons. to make the since it was created in 1989. He is by far the wealthiest MP at Westminster, and can probably stake a claim to be
Mr and Mrs Sunak have used their wealth to buy a five bedroom town house in London’s Kensington, alongside a large manor house in Mr Suank’s a property in , California and a further flat in central London.constituency near the village of . The couple also own
How did make his money?
had a financially comfortable upbringing in Southampton. His father was a doctor and his mother a pharmacist. Sunak was sent off to boarding school at the nearby , where he was head boy.
Before becoming a Conservative MP in 2015, Sunak enjoyed a lucrative career in finance. Initially he was employed by the prestigious American investment bank . He later moved on to hedge fund management. Back in 2010, he was a founding partner in the firm,
Sunak’s career in banking undoubtedly made the former UK wealthy, but nothing along the scale required to appear within the .
Instead the bulk of Fulbright scholar at Stanford. ‘s wealth comes through his marriage to . The pair met when they were both studying for an MBA at in the . Sunak was a
is the daughter of an Indian tech billionaire. Her father, NR Narayana Murty, co-founded the Indian technology firm, Infosys, in 1981. He is the sixth richest man in India.
According to various stock exchange disclosures, , owns 0.91% of the shares in her father’s company, Infosys. In June 2022, Infosys was valued at $77.7 Billion, which placed her holding in the firm at some £572 million.
As well as running her own fashion label, Mrs Sunak is also the owner and director of a UK-based venture capital firm Catamaran Ventures UK Ltd.
Rishi Sunak’s wealth as a political issue
Throughout the covid pandemic, the . The architect of the ‘furlough’ scheme was was amongst the most popular politicians in widely regarded as telegenic and straight talking. Unlike many politicians, he even developed something of a reputation for answering the question.
However in 2022, Sunak’s political fortunes appeared to have turned. Having attended a gathering in the Cabinet room where people ate cake and sang happy birthday to the prime minister, he was issued with a fixed penalty notice by the police. Moreover, his financial affairs also started to come under greater media and political scrutiny.
In April 2022, Sunak wrote to to request an independent review of statements made around his finances.
After he was appointed to the Treasury in July 2019, Sunak registered a blind trust that is thought to contain a multi-million-pound fortune.
Blind trusts are said to help ministers operate in a way that avoids potential conflicts of interest. A blind trust allows them to retain their investments, but leaves them unaware of how and where the money is invested. Both Theresa May and Tony set up blind trusts to manage their financial interests during their respective stints at No 10.
Sunak first faced questions from political opponents in relation to whether any of the funds placed in his blind trust were held in offshore tax-havens.
There were then questions around the extent to which Sunak knew about the contents of the trust. Daniel Beizsley of the financial transparency pressure group, Spotlight on Corruption, told the Guardian, “Unless the trustee was given specific instructions to diversify the portfolio, then Sunak is fully aware of its contents. It’s difficult to see how this could absolve him of conflict of interest claims”.
Nonetheless, In advice to the appears to have received the ‘all clear’ in relation to his finances. , the government’s ethics advisor Lord Geidt wrote: “I advise that the requirements of the ministerial code have been adhered to by the and that he has been assiduous in meeting his obligations and in engaging with this investigation”.
– Non Dom Tax Status
also came under political pressure after it was revealed that his wife was benefitting from non domiciled tax status.
is entitled to non dom tax status as she is an Indian citizen. It is said that she plans to move back to her home country to care for her parents at a later date. India does not allow it citizens to hold the citizenship of another country simultaneously.
This , for which the ‘s wife will have paid £30,000 per year, reduces the amount of UK tax that a non domiciled person living in the UK has to pay on their income earned abroad. The BBC have suggested that in the previous year, Mrs Sunak’s dividends from Infosys amounted to £11.6 million.
In April 2022, Ms Murty promised to pay UK tax on her future income earned abroad. In a statement she said that did not want her non-dom status to be a “distraction” for her husband. She does though retain the non-dom status, which legally will substantially reduce her inheritance tax bill in the future.
imself and the actor Will Smith, who reacted angrily to comments about his wife during the March 2022 Oscar ceremony. has been unhappy with the coverage of his wife’s financial affairs, which he describes as ‘unfair’ for a private citizen. Instead he has argued that he should be the focus of attention, saying, “I’m an elected politician. So I know what I signed up for”. Mr Sunak has even made the compairson between h
In the spring of 2022 it was also revealed that himself had only recently held a US green card.
A green card makes it easier for people to travel into America, and entitles the holder to permanent residence in the should they wish. obtained the green card after studying in America. Green card holders have to file annual tax returns in the US.
Whilst was perfectly legally entitled to possess a green card, opposition MPs questioned why he had kept the green card, whilst both being an MP and serving in the Cabinet. , , was born in the but renounced his US citizenship in 2017.
gave up his Green card in late 2021 ahead of his first trip to the US as a government minister. His spokesperson said that Suank had discussed the appropriate course of action with the US authorities, and “At that point it was considered best to return his green card, which he did immediately.”
‘s wealth – Is it an issue for his political career?
UK for almost two years before there was a more sustained interest in his financial affairs in the spring of 2022. had been
Although the increased interest in the net worth of undoubtedly dovetailed with his debut in the , it also came at a time when the UK was facing a ‘cost of ‘. Soaring prices were in the then ‘s own words making things ‘tough’ for UK families.
Increased financial pressures were causing UK voters to become dissatisfied with the . Polls in May 2022 now showed that 48% didn’t think the then was doing well, with that view similarly shared by voters (49%).
There is no direct suggestion that focus on the issue is behind his current fall in popularity. Not everyone in the UK is opposed to people who have made money. However there is no doubt that in the current financial climate, Sunak’s significant wealth, made it more difficult for him as Chancellor to appear as empathetic with ‘ordinary voters’ as he would undoubtedly like.