Wes Streeting blasts Rishi Sunak and Sajid Javid over tax affairs

11 April 2022, 11:03 | Updated: 11 April 2022, 11:31

Wes Streeting blasts Rishi Sunak and Sajid Javid over tax affairs

By Sam Sholli

Labour Shadow Health Secretary Wes Streeting has taken aim at Rishi Sunak and Sajid Javid over how they have managed their tax affairs.

Mr Streeting's words have come after Rishi Sunak has asked Prime Minister Boris Johnson to refer him to the Independent Adviser on Ministers' Interests to determine whether all his financial interests were "properly declared".

The move by Mr Sunak has come as the Chancellor has come under scrutiny after it has been revealed that he held on to his Green Card as a 'resident' of the United Sates for more than a year after becoming Chancellor and that his wife Akshata Murthy enjoys non-dom tax status.

Meanwhile, Health Secretary Sajid Javid has admitted that he was previously non-domiciled for tax purposes.

The Health Secretary said he gave up his non-dom status a year before becoming an MP at the 2010 general election.

Wes Streeting is standing in for James O'Brien as a LBC host today, as Labour politicians Rachel Reeves, David Lammy and Sadiq Khan all also set to fill in for James this week. You can listen live to all their shows on Global Player.

Mr Streeting took aim at the Chancellor and the Health Secretary "managing their tax affairs in a way that means they will end up paying less tax in a way that most people in this country are simply unable to do."

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He added: "And the luxury of being able to choose how much tax you pay, where you pay that tax, when you pay that tax - is not one that is enjoyed by most people in this country, which is why I think it is one rule for them and another rule for everyone else."

Referring to the controversy surrounding the tax affairs of Mr Sunak and his wife, Mr Streeting also said: "There are two reasons why this matters.

"One is that it's just an accepted part of ethics and propriety in government that Ministers have to disclose their not only their own financial interests but the direct financial interests of the people around them.

"And there's a good reason for that, especially if you're the Chancellor of the Exchequer - you're making decisions all the time about tax and spending in a way that could directly benefit you or the people around you. And so it's important those decisions are being taken for the right reasons and in the right way and that we avoid conflicts of interests.

"But also it is a question of double standards. We've got Rishi Sunak [being responsible for] 15 tax rises in just two years at a time when people are dealing with the worst cost of living crisis in living memory. "

He also said: "So the idea that the Chancellor, who has made families in this country around £2,600 a year worse off, has been managing his tax affairs and managing his family's tax affairs in a way that means he pays less tax in this country, I think will stick in the throats of lots of people."

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Mr Streeting added: "I think the question we've got to ask ourselves is, is this fair, is this right and what does he need to do about it.

"Because I don't think it's enough that the Chancellor has just referred himself to the Prime Minister's adviser in the hope that he will tell us what we already know, which [is] he hasn't broken any laws.

"I think what we want to hear from the Chancellor is that he will fix loopholes that give very, very wealthy people like him a get-out-of-jail-free card when it comes to paying their fair share of tax in this country at the same time that he's clobbering working people with huge tax rises and leaving some of the very poorest in our people much, much worse off.

"What kind of country have we become when there are more food banks in our country than there are McDonald's?"