In his first day in Parliament handling prime minister’s questions, Rishi Sunak was confronted with a question about his wealthy wife.
Sunak’s wife, Akshata Murty, has a 0.93% stake in Infosys
the Indian technology giant founded by her father. That’s worth about $718 million.
Murty previously claimed non-domicile status, which meant she — legally — did not have to pay taxes on the millions of dividends Infosys paid. U.K. resident taxpayers have to pay as much as 39% on dividends. She said she gave up that status in April, though she retained her Indian citizenship.
Keir Starmer, the leader of the Labour Party, asked why the U.K. keeps non-dom rules, which he says costs the treasury £3.2 billion ($3.7 billion) per year.
“He said he’ll protect the vulnerable, let’s test that. The government currently allows very rich people to live here but register abroad for tax purposes,” he said. “I don’t need to explain to the prime minister how non-dom status works. He already knows all about that.”
Sunak did not directly address the question, but said the U.K. will have to take “difficult decisions.” He also chided Labour for realizing that “spending needs to be paid for. It’s a novel concept for the party opposite.”