On Friday, UK Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak and his wife Akshata Murty made their debut in the annual Sunday Times Rich List, ranking 222 with a combined fortune estimated at £730 million, trailing only the Hinduja brothers of Indian ancestry, who have about £28.5 billion.
The research describes British-born Sunak, who is married to India-born Murty, the daughter of Infosys co-founder N R Narayana Murthy, as the first frontline politician to emerge in its annual rankings of the UK’s wealthiest in its 34-year existence. The majority of their fortune is thought to stem from Murty’s £690-million share in Infosys, but Sunak also had a prosperous career in finance until joining the Conservative Party in 2015.
Sunak and Murty faced criticism and public outrage last month due to Murty’s “non-domiciled” tax status, which meant she did not pay tax in the UK on her earnings earned abroad. She later dropped the status and stated that she would pay British tax on her worldwide income. It is believed that Murty’s “non-dom” status could have saved her £20 million in taxes on dividends from her Infosys shares. According to the study, she owns 0.9% of Infosys.
Sunak’s appointment comes at a politically challenging time for Britain’s finance minister, who is under pressure to offer support for those struggling with rising energy and food prices. Meanwhile, Sri and Gopichand Hinduja and family have returned to the top of the rankings after falling to third place last year, with the largest fortune ever recorded on the list.