The wealth of British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and his wife Akshata Murty has plunged over the last twelve months, but at 529 million pounds ($668 million) he is still immune from the cost of living crisis which dominates the UK’s political agenda.
The pair are now ranked the 275th according to the Sunday Times Rich List, down from 222nd position last year due to the fall in value of their stake in Infosys, the India I.T. giant founded by Murty’s father.
As Prime Minister, Sunak is entitled to an annual salary of about 165,000 pounds. When he became PM last October, his income rose from the general lawmaker rate, but not nearly enough to cushion the drop in his wealth from the estimated 730 million pounds last year to the 529 million pounds in 2023.
His fortune has opened him up to regular attacks from opposition politicians who say his is out of touch with ordinary people at a time when many Britons are getting poorer.
Inflation stands at over 10% and wages are not rising as fast, squeezing household incomes, and causing a “cost of living crisis” which dominates headlines. Sunak has pledged to halve inflation and grow the economy to address the issue.
Sunak is the richest ever occupant of No.10 Downing Street, but has said people should not hold his wealth against him.
“I think in our country, we judge people not by their bank account, we judge them by their character and their actions. And yes, I’m really fortunate to be in the situation I’m in now, but I wasn’t born like this,” he said last year.
Last year, Sunak’s wife faced criticism and public anger in April over her “non-domiciled” tax status which meant she did not pay tax in Britain on her earnings abroad. She subsequently gave up the status and said she would pay British tax on her global income.
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