Cabinet minister Kwasi Quarteng has insisted that the public “can draw their own conclusions” about the tax matters of Akshata Murthy, the millionaire wife of Chancellor Rishi Sunak.
In an effort to defend Ms Murthy, the business secretary also said that non-domicile status “has been part of the UK tax system for over 200 years”.
comes afterIndependent revealed that the chancellor’s wife, whose family business is worth around £3.5bn, has claimed ‘non-dom’ status to protect her tax bill.
Last week, when the chancellor faced questions about Ms Murthy’s stake in IT and services giant Infosys – a company founded by her father – Mr Sunak said his wife had been “attacked”.
“You know, I think it’s totally normal for people to shoot me. It’s fair game. I’m sitting here and that’s why I signed up.”
Speaking on Sky News, Mr Quarteng said he agreed with the chancellor, adding: ‘It is completely unfair to bring in someone who is not a politician and basically attack them for how it is. I completely agree with him on this.”
Asked about his tax status, the business secretary said: ‘He has made it clear that as an Indian citizen he cannot have dual citizenship and he has non-charity status in the UK.
“After 15 years she will be domiciled here, but at the moment she pays on UK income, as I understand it, and on foreign income she pays tax outside the UK – that’s what non-domicile status means Is?
“But I was not here to comment on their financial matters,” he said, as the minister prepared to unveil the government’s energy security strategy.
Pressed on Optics – just as the government announces an anti-tax hike and hiked consumer energy bills – he replied: “People can draw their own conclusions, it depends on the audience.
“He gave a full statement of what happened, it’s a non-occupational situation that’s completely legal – everything is perfectly in order, he’s always been very transparent on these matters.”
He added: “I am also aware of the non-domicile status that has existed in UK law for over 200 years.”
Asked again about optics, the business secretary said: “People will come to their own conclusions, that’s what’s great about this country. We have an open debate, people will have many opinions.
“I’m here to clarify that I think they are concerned with their tax matters and I don’t know the details of the companies you are talking about”.
In a statement last night, a spokesperson for Ms Murthy claimed she had to use the position because of her citizenship, saying: ‘Akshata Murthy is a citizen of India, her country of birth and home. of your parents.
“India does not allow its citizens to simultaneously hold citizenship of another country. Thus, under UK law, Ms. Murthy is not considered to be domiciled for UK tax purposes. She has and will continue to pay UK tax on all her UK income.
The status, which is optional, can protect an individual from paying UK tax on dividend income from foreign investments, rent on foreign assets or bank interest. The status also means that you avoid UK inheritance tax.
Labor’s shadow economic secretary Tulip Siddiq called on Mr Sunak to “immediately explain how much he and his family have saved on their own tax bills” while raising taxes for millions during the cost of the housing crisis. . ,
He said: “The Chancellor has increased tax after tax increase on the British people. It is surprising that – at the same time – their family can benefit from tax deduction schemes. This is another example of conservatives thinking that this is one rule for them, another for everyone else.
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