The Chancellor’s wife, Akshata Murty, avoids millions of pounds in UK taxes a year – and has an estimated net worth greater than the Queen’s
Rishi Sunak is on course to become the next leader of the Conservative Party as he and Liz Truss are the final candidates to succeed Boris Johnson as Prime Minister.
However, his enormous wealth has been the subject of much criticism and has branded him as “out of touch”.
Earlier this year, the Sunaks found themselves 222nd in the Sunday Times ranking of Britain’s 1,000 richest people.
His wife Akshata Murty has a stake in IT giant Infosys – the Indian tech company founded by NR Narayana Murthy, her father.
However, it emerged that Sunak’s multi-millionaire avoided paying taxes on her overseas income while families bore the brunt of the cost-of-living crisis.
The BBC estimated that her Non-Dom status would have saved her £2.1million a year in UK taxes.
Many politicians openly condemned Sunak’s wife with the tax status, but Murty announced that she would change her tax regulations.
What was the tax row?
Akshata Murty has non-dom status, which means she does not have to pay tax in the UK on income earned abroad.
The non-dom system is legal, but Labor said it would be “breathtaking hypocrisy” for Rishi Sunak’s wife to have reduced her tax bill while he was Chancellor, collecting taxes for millions of workers across the country.
Before stepping down on July 5, Sunak had ultimate oversight of all UK tax matters, including regular reviews of the Non-Dom Rules, making the matter a direct conflict of interest.
The pressure increased when it was revealed that Infosys, in which Murty has a stake, is still operating in Moscow despite the war in Ukraine.
Murty confirmed she will be paying UK tax on all of her earnings and told the BBC she didn’t want to “distract” her husband.
A leak investigation has been launched in Whitehall to determine how the information was made public.
Who are the Chancellor’s wife and children?
Akshata Murty is the daughter of the so-called “Bill Gates of India”, Narayana Murty.
She has a 0.91% stake in her father’s tech empire Infosys, which brings her net worth to around £500million – more than the Queen’s.
She received £11.6 million in dividend income from her stock last year.
Murty was the first woman to work for India’s largest automaker and is now a philanthropist and a member of the Gates Foundation.
She is listed with shares in at least six other UK companies, including luxury menswear brand New & Lingwood, the British company that operates Jamie’s Italian in India, nanny agency Koru Kids and gym chain Digme Fitness, of which she is also a director .
As a Non-Dom resident of the UK, Murty is not legally required to pay UK tax on her overseas income. The BBC estimates that this would have saved them £2.1million a year in UK taxes.
Murty married the former chancellor in 2009 after they met at Stanford University.
She lives at 11 Downing Street with Sunak and their two daughters, Krishna and Anoushka.
She and her husband have four homes, including a £7million five-bedroom estate in Kensington, a £1.5million mansion in his North Yorkshire constituency and a penthouse in Santa Monica, California with an estimated Worth £5.5million.
Why did the former chancellor and his family move?
Moving vans were seen at Downing Street, where the Sunak family lived in the flat above No 10.
It was reported that Sunak was moving the family to Kensington, where he was expected to spend weekdays at Downing Street and return to his family at the weekend.
The move followed fresh allegations regarding his wife’s tax status and fueled speculation that Sunak wanted to keep his family out of the spotlight.
There were reports that Sunak was considering quitting his job to focus on his family’s finances.
A source told the Sunday Times: “He was wondering if he could put up with his family taking this any longer.”
However, his allies said the move was because he and his family wanted to be closer to their older daughter’s elementary school during her final semester before she transferred to boarding school.