As far as what used to be called the broad sheets are concerned there is no doubt what the main story of the day – the tax status of the wife of Chancellor Sunak.
However you try to spin this it just looks bad that the spouse of the man in charge of running the economy and the government’s finances should be able to pay far less UK tax because of her non-dom status. It is not helped by the fact that the amount invvolved is so large.. This is from the Guardian:
It was revealed this week that despite living in the UK for the past nine years, Murty claims non-domicile status, allowing her to avoid paying UK tax on the £11.5m-a-year she collects in dividend from the overseas IT fortune. Using the “non-dom” scheme – which is also used by the now-sanctioned Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich and the Daily Mail owner, Lord Rothermere – has allowed Murty to not pay up an estimated £20m in tax that would have been due on £54m of dividends earned over the past seven-and-a-half years if she decided to pay UK tax in full. Her spokesperson suggested that Murty, as an Indian citizen, had no choice but to be “treated as non-domiciled for UK tax purposes”. However, all UK residents must actively apply for non-dom status by filing in government tax form SA109 to claim the tax relief.
Fortunately for the Tories parliament has started its recess and does not return until April 19th.
This all adds to the terrible period that Sunak is going through and I wonder whether he might quit or Johnson pushes him to one side because of the possible damage this could do to the government.
What makes all this so remarkable is that for such a long period Sunak has been the favourite to succeed Johnson.