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Minister Insists Rishi Sunak Has Been “Very Candid” Over Tax Affairs

Minister Insists Rishi Sunak Has Been “Very Candid” Over Tax Affairs
3 min read

George Eustice has insisted that Rishi Sunak “properly declared” that he had a US green card as the Chancellor faces a potential investigation into his financial affairs.

Speaking to Sky News on Monday, the environment secretary insisted he was “not an expert” on green cards and non-dom status but said that he would not "ever seek to have one to be honest”.

He highlighted that the Chancellor has called for Lord Geidt, the Prime Minister’s independent adviser on ministers’ interests, to undertake an inquiry into his financial interests. It is up to Boris Johnson to decide if an inquiry should be launched.

The Chancellor has been under pressure to explain why he held a US green card while serving at the highest levels of the UK government. Holders of these cards must pay US tax on their global income and vow to make the US their permanent home.

Eustice said Sunak has been "very clear that he has declared everything that should have been declared at the right time". 

"You declare all your interests to the permanent secretary in your department and the Cabinet Office decide which bits should be made public, which bits they should be aware of,” he told Sky News.

“There is a duty of candour in both directions and Rishi is very clear that he has been very candid about his own arrangements at every stage.”

Sunak's tax affairs came under the spotlight last week after The Independent reported that his wife, Akshata Murty, saved millions on her UK tax bill through her non-domicile status.

Eustice was also questioned over the tax status of members of the Cabinet after health secretary Sajid Javid said that he had held non-dom status in the past.

"I'm not the accountant for my ministerial colleagues in Cabinet. I don't know of anybody who may or may not have had non-dom status,” he said.

"I can tell you that I would never have and never seek to have one."

Asked whether he understood why members of the public were angry over the revelations about Sunak’s tax, he said: "I think people should judge the chancellor.

"The man who is chancellor at the moment has paid all of his taxes, and paid taxes on his income and declared all of that in the UK and has been clear about that."

He said “we all recognise” the pressures caused by the cost of living crisis, and that there were “some difficult decisions coming down the tracks”.

He added: “We're also doing all we can to help people through these difficult times."

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