The new British Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak, will no doubt be long remembered as the first Hindu occupant of 10 Downing Street. 

I am not concerned in the slightest with his religion only with his politics which leave me cold. (Photo: Sunak at PMQs earlier today)

At a garden party earlier this year, Sunak was caught on camera telling Conservative supporters in Tunbridge Wells – one of the wealthiest areas in the UK – that, as Chancellor of the Exchequer, he was responsible for undoing Labour Party policy which

“shoved all the funding (from central government) into deprived urban areas”.

He promised to give more to wealthier parts of the country.

Paying their Fair Share

Rishi Sunak is the richest member of the House of Commons, probably by a very long way. 

I don’t have a problem with people making lots of money so long as they pay their fair share of taxes.

Sunak’s wife, Akshata Murty, the daughter of an Indian billionaire, was a so-called “non-dom” until earlier this year.

She told the tax authorities she was "non-domiciled" in the United Kingdom, claiming her country of domicile and her true home was India.

This meant that while she lived at 11 Downing Street, at public expense as the wife of the Chancellor, she did not pay UK tax on her worldwide income only on the money she remitted (or brought into) the UK. 

It is a common tax dodge used by the super wealthy. 

Tax dodgers

My 2007 Freedom of Information request (lodged while I was an MP and answered in 2010) exposed Michael Ashcroft as a tax dodger.

Ashcroft, a multi-millionaire former Chair of the Conservative Party, was “elevated” to the peerage after promising to bring his tax affairs on-shore. He never did.

Sunak's Green Card

On 8 April this year the UK’s Guardian newspaper reported that:

“Sunak was on Friday forced to confirm he had a US green card – meaning he had declared himself a “permanent US resident” for tax purposes for 19 months while he was chancellor and for six years as an MP.”

It was an astonishing revelation.

Since becoming Prime Minister, Sunak has spoken about the enormous economic challenges facing Britain and the difficult choices that lie ahead.

But who is responsible for the dire situation in which the UK now finds itself?

The Ruination of Britain

Peter Oborne, a commentator who has written for many right of centre publications in the UK, pins the blame squarely on the Conservatives who have been in Government since 2010. In an essay in the New York Times last Friday “The Ruination of Britain” Oborne wrote:

“Until very recently the British Conservative Party was able to claim, with a great deal of credibility, that it was the most successful political party in the Western world.

The party of Benjamin Disraeli, Winston Churchill and Margaret Thatcher has governed Britain for most of the last 200 years. Through much of that time the Conservatives have been synonymous with good sense, financial sobriety and cautious pragmatism. Despised by progressive elites, allergic to ideology, provincial rather than metropolitan, the Conservative Party rejoiced in being the stolid party of the boring middle ground.

Not anymore. Today, the Conservatives are synonymous with chaos.”

Brexit was sold to the British people by Boris Johnson on the back of a lie.

Johnson promised Britain would be more prosperous and influential outside the European Union than inside. It was a deception with far reaching consequences.

Mark Carney

The former Governor of the Bank of Canada and the Bank of England, Mark Carney, told Globe and Mail readers on 4 October 2022:

“Before the (Brexit) referendum was called, the British economy was 90% the size of Germany’s. Today it is 70 per cent.”

Average real wages are still below their level in 2007.

As Britain’s economy falters and its influence in the world shrinks who bears primary responsibility for the calamitous decisions of recent years?

That’s a question for Rishi Sunak.

Gordon Prentice 26 October 2022

From the Toronto Star 29 October 2022: UK's Sunak is unrelatable to many South Asians. With a net worth of £730M, he is a few hundred million pounds richer than the monarch.