Readers' letters: Pressure is on hapless chancellor Sunak

Another day, another Tory government scandal and not for the first time involving the hapless Rishi Sunak and his wife’s status as a non-dom in the UK.

By The Newsroom
Saturday, 9th April 2022, 7:00 am
Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak alongside his wife Akshata Murthy
Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak alongside his wife Akshata Murthy

The flimsy smokescreen put up by their spokespeople claim that as she’s an Indian national, she is not eligible to pay tax on her foreign income in the UK.

This, of course, is utter rubbish as being a non-UK national does not mean a person cannot be resident in the UK and pay UK taxes on all earnings like the rest of us.

Mrs Sunak has made a conscious choice to apply for non-dom status and pays, in her terms, a meagre £30,000 a year for the privilege rather than the millions she would be due in fair taxation.They are quick to emphasise she is doing nothing illegal here, which is true, but in a week when Sunak imposed the largest fiscal burden on ordinary people since the 40s, his extremely rich wife is avoiding taxation through some archaic law going back to 1799.

And the fact she has lived here for nine years, is married to a government minister, lives in the most well known address in the UK (at taxpayers’ expense), has children at school here, owns at least three multi-million pound properties here, owns or has shares in a range of UK businesses and even claimed over £1 million in furlough payments during lockdown (which was not paid back due to the business going bust) suggests to me that this person is a long-term resident in the UK.Once more they’re taking us for a ride and as usual with this corrupt government, it’s one rule for us and a different one for them.

D Mitchell, Edinburgh.

We can’t afford the Tories – or Labour

Ian Murray (News, 7 April) is right to say we can’t afford the Tories, with high taxes and attacks on the less well-off, but in Scotland we can’t afford Labour either.

Scottish Labour’s big message for the local elections is about introducing a windfall tax on oil companies and the SNP wants this extended to the likes of Amazon etc.

However, Holyrood and local authorities lack the powers to do this and Anas Sarwar wouldn’t even sign a joint party letter demanding the devolution of these powers. Also, Labour voted against doubling the Scottish Child Payment to help hard pressed families.

Other than high energy costs, Brexit is the biggest cause of UK austerity and falling exports, which is causing real problems for our businesses, yet Sir Keir Starmer told LBC on 6 April that “there's no case for rejoining the EU”.

Speaking recently in Dublin, the former Welsh Labour leader Carwyn Jones said that having one sovereign parliament that can overrule other parts of the UK is “not democracy”, yet Labour in Scotland has been silent on Westminster’s post Brexit power grabs.

He added that the reason why Welsh Labour has been so successful over the years, is because we saw what happened in Scotland where "Labour moved away from Scottish identity".

Fraser Grant, Edinburgh.

No publicity

Having the press barred from attending the SNP’s local election campaign launch was the latest in a long line of indications that the First Minister and her party now spend much effort and a great part of their time simply dodging scrutiny.

Awkward questions can be avoided with no press in attendance. Her army of spin doctors instead will provide their sanitised version of plans with no chance to challenge or to probe for the truth.

This brings the Orwellian tendencies of the SNP more into focus.

Alexander McKay, Edinburgh.

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