I Regret To Inform You That Britain’s New Prime Minister Is Richer Than The King
A man of the people.
I regret to inform you that the new British Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak, is filthy rich. No, not like the usual politician of “rich”. I mean like… richer than the literal King of England kinda rich.
British politics has been in absolute shambles for what feels like forever now, particularly since Boris Johnson announced he would resign back in July. Johnson was then replaced by Liz Truss, who only managed to hold office for less than two months before announcing her resignation amid rising pressure.
So let’s get acquainted with Britain’s new PM, shall we?
How Filthy Rich Is Rishi Sunak?
Sunak — who, with his wife Akshata Murty, has a combined worth of $1.3 billion AUD — stands to be one of, if not *the* richest Prime Minister in British History. Specifically, the new PM and his wife are listed as the 222nd richest people in the country, according to this year’s Sunday Times rich list.
To contextualise that figure for you — because most of us can’t even comprehend what $1 billion actually looks like — King Charles III and Camilla, Queen Consort have a combined wealth of between $536m-$626m.
Prior to her death earlier this year, Queen Elizabeth II was estimated to be worth approximately $660 million. But the new Prime Minister’s wealth, quite frankly, makes Liz look like she was an average person.
Together, the couple owns four homes — worth an estimated $26.7 million.
How Did He Get So Rich?
Sunak himself is a former hedge fund manager (see: had more money than most of us), but this wealth fails in comparison to that of his wife — who is the daughter of one of India’s richest businessmen — N.R Narayana Murthy, who is the founder of tech company Infosys.
Akshata also works as a fashion designer and invests in various start-ups through her venture capital firm, Catamaran Ventures UK. Honestly, if you ignore the enormous generational wealth she was born into, you could almost call it girl boss energy.
Why Is His Wealth Such A Problem?
Apart from the obvious fact that it’s pretty hard to govern for the everyday person when you have the kind of wealth that makes the King of England look poor, the major issue when it comes to Sunak’s wealth is the fact that his wife had opted to claim non-domiciled status.
Non-domicile — or non-dom, for short — is a British tax status that you can claim if you, or your parents, were born outside of the UK. If you claim non-dom, you only have to pay tax in the UK on the money you actually earned in the UK.
To put it simply, it is a lovely tax loophole that has historically allowed some of Britain’s wealthiest people to avoid actually paying taxes in the country.
In Murty’s case, this meant she only paid £30,000 ($53,600 AUD) per year to avoid having to pay tax on her international income.
According to the BBC, this means she avoided paying approximately $3.3 million per year in UK taxes.
She has since relinquished her non-dom status after facing backlash from the British public, given her husband’s role.
“I understand and appreciate the British sense of fairness and I do not wish my tax status to be a distraction for my husband or to affect my family,” said Murty back in April, when her husband was serving as the country’s chief finance minister.
“I will now pay UK tax on an arising basis on all my worldwide income, including dividends and capital gains, wherever in the world that income arises. I do this because I want to, not because the rules require me to.”
As a result of his wife’s — and, by association, his — unimaginable wealth, Sunak has been accused of being out of touch with the general public. Particularly, he has been slammed for waltzing around in £450 Prada loafers and drinking out of a “smart” coffee mug that costs £180 (note: no smart person has ever spent that much money on a mug, but that’s neither here nor there).
Sunak, however, has rubbished the criticism and asserted that his expensive sartorial taste does not impact his politics: “Values are what are important, what I’m wearing is irrelevant to all of that.”
For me, the question is simple: why would a man with enough money to wipe his ass with $100 bills for the rest of his life bother with the stress of running a country when he could, you know, be sipping margaritas on a yacht? It simply could never be me.
You do you, but if I ever run into a billion dollars, you can rest assured I would disappear off the face of the Earth and none of you would ever hear a peep from me again.
Image: Finnbarr Webster / Stringer