Rishi Sunak has pledged to publish his tax returns, the first occupant of 10 Downing Street to do so since David Cameron, in a move that will provide more transparency about the new prime minister’s personal finances.
Sunak is one of the wealthiest individuals to enter Number 10, through his past career in financial services and the family fortune of Akshata Murty, his wife, whose father founded Infosys, the Indian IT company.
The prime minister’s family is thought to be richer than King Charles III. According to the Sunday Times rich list, Sunak and Murty’s wealth is estimated to be in the region of £730mn.
In April, Murty agreed to pay UK taxes on all her income after a row over her enjoying tax perks through having non-domiciled status. So-called non-doms do not have to pay UK tax on their foreign income.
Speaking during the G20 summit in Bali, Sunak confirmed he was willing to publish his full tax returns. “Yes, of course,” he said, adding: “I have no problem doing that.”
While prime minister, Cameron published details of how much tax he paid over several years after a row about his financial affairs, but his successors — Theresa May, Boris Johnson and Liz Truss — declined to do so.
Sunak said the timing of the release of his tax returns would be up to the Cabinet Office, which oversees ministerial disclosures, adding it would “of course” happen within his first year as prime minister.
He declined to say whether he has private healthcare insurance. “In general, I wouldn’t normally talk about the healthcare that me or my family receive,” he told ITV News.
Cameron disclosed in 2016 details of his income tax payments between 2009-10 and 2014-15 after a row when he featured in the Panama Papers data leak about the offshore financial world.
The papers revealed his father set up a Bahamas company in the 1980s and Cameron said he and his wife Samantha sold shares in Blairmore Holdings before he became prime minister. He said the investment was not intended to avoid tax.
In the 2016 Conservative leadership contest following Cameron’s resignation, May, then home secretary, published her tax returns.
But despite pressure from the Labour party, she resisted releasing further details during her time as prime minister.
When he was Labour leader, Jeremy Corbyn published his tax returns annually and called on May and other senior politicians to do the same.