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“It is wrong for people to try and come at my wife,” Rishi Sunak impassionedly told the BBC’s Newscast when he defended his wife Akshata Murthy against criticism over Infosys’ links to Russia. There is one person, however, who has kept a fair distance from the Indian businesswoman: the tax man.
According to The Independent, the Chancellor’s millionaire spouse – whose family is worth an estimated £3.5 billion – has claimed non-domicile status in order to save on her tax bills as recently as April 2020 – two months after the Richmond MP stepped into Number 11.
It is not known how much money has been saved by Murthy. However, two people familiar with her financial arrangements claim it may have saved her millions, including foreign earnings. This includes, but not limited to, Infosys’ headquarters in Moscow. The Treasury has declined to comment.
Meanwhile, a spokesperson for Murty told City AM’s Andy Silvester that the story is a bit of a technicality. Murty is a citizen of India and cannot hold UK citizenship, so she must be treated as a non-dom under British law, although she “has always and will” pay tax on UK income. There is no suggestion Sunak minimised his own bills.
It comes as a YouGov poll found Sunak’s net favourability plunge by 24 points amid his polarising spring statement and failure to tackle the cost-of-living crisis.
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As his popularity tanks, so too does his dignity.