PMQs: Starmer challenges Rishi Sunak on non-dom tax status
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Sir Keir Starmer suffered a bitter humiliation as he tried to deliver a scathing attack against Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, pointing out how non-dom status has cost the Treasury a staggering £3.2billion every year.
But in his attempt to hit the newly-elected leader of the Conservatives with a zinger, Sir Keir appeared to stumble with his word.
His stammer had Conservative MPs in stitches.
Mr Stamer asked the Prime Minister: “Why doesn’t he put his mouth where his money is and get rid of it?”
A tentative Mr Sunak fired back: “Mr Speaker, I have always said we will have to take difficult decisions to restore economic stability and confidence.
“And my honourable friend, the Chancellor will set that out in a statement in just a few weeks.”
In his very first Prime Minister’s Questions session, Mr Sunak defended: “But what I can say, as we did during Covid, we will always protect the most vulnerable. We will do this in a fair way.
In a devastating salvo to Keir Starmer, the Prime Minister added: “But what I can say: I am glad, Mr Speaker, that the party opposite the honourable gentleman has finally realised that spending does need to be paid for.”
Mr Rishi Sunak added: “It is a novel concept for the party opposite.
“This government is going to restore economic stability, and we will do it in a fair and compassionate way.”
Mr Starmer then made a pointed dig, saying: “I know he’s been away for a few weeks but he should’ve listened to what was going on in the last few weeks.
“I have to say I am surprised he’s still defending non-dom status.”
Mr Starmer was referring to Rishi Sunak’s multi-millionaire wife who claims non-domicile status, which allowed her to save millions of pounds in tax on dividends collected from her family’s IT business empire Infosys,.
With the non-dom status, Akshata Murty, who receives about £11.5m in annual dividends from her stake in the Indian IT services company, avoids paying tax on foreign earnings.
By contrast, UK resident taxpayers would pay a 39.35% tax on such dividend payouts.
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