Rishi Sunak and wife Akshata Murty have entered The Sunday Times Rich List for the first time with their joint £730 million fortune, as the Chancellor holds out on fresh support to alleviate the cost-of-living crisis for millions of Britons.
Their listing among the nation’s wealthy elite also comes after their finances came under intense scrutiny when it emerged Ms Murty holds non-domiciled status allowing her to reduce her UK tax bill.
Mr Sunak had been seen as a frontrunner in any leadership contest to replace Boris Johnson but his standing was severely dented by the scrutiny of his family’s exorbitant wealth.
The entry into the Rich List will do little to quell allegations he does not understand the pain being suffered by the public, especially the nation’s poorest, as food and energy prices soar with inflation hitting a 40-year high.
The Government has been resisting calls to impose a windfall tax on the high profits of oil and gas giants to help fund measures to ease the crisis, as the Chancellor faces demands to cut taxes as part of a new support package.
On Friday morning, the Sunday Times Rich List revealed the couple featured at 222 in the list with the joint forecast of £730 million, driven by Ms Murty’s £690 million stake in Infosys.
It was estimated Ms Murty’s non-dom status could have saved her £20 million in taxes on dividends from her shares in Infosys, an Indian IT company founded by her father.
She later agreed to pay UK taxes on her worldwide income.
Mr Sunak was cleared of breaching the ministerial code by the Prime Minister’s standards adviser after considering the tax affairs.
Deputy prime minister Dominic Raab told Times Radio: “Rishi Sunak is a fantastic example of someone who’s been successful in business who’s come in to make a big impact in public service.
“I think we want more of those people.
“I think it’s fantastic that you’ve got someone of British Indian origin, showing all people in our country that you can get to the top of politics.
“And frankly, I think if I understood correctly, The Sunday Times Rich List was a reflection of not just him, but his wife.
“And to be honest with you, his wife is an incredibly successful entrepreneur in her own right.”
Meanwhile, Sri and Gopi Hinduja, who run the Mumbai-based conglomerate Hinduja Group, jumped to the top of the list after their wealth grew by more than £11 billion to £28.47 billion.
Entrepreneur Sir James Dyson and his family moved up to second in the list after a £6.7 billion increase to £23 billion.
Property investors David and Simon Reuben meanwhile were third with £22.26 billion, while Ukrainian-born Sir Leonard Blavatnik dropped from top spot to fourth.
Russian billionaires tumbled down this year’s rankings.
One notable absentee from the top of the list is Roman Abramovich.
The former Chelsea owner slid from eighth to 28th in rankings after his finances plummeted from £12.2 billion last year to £6 billion this year following sanctions, the enforced sale of Chelsea and the sharp fall in his Evraz shares.
The latest ranking of the 250 richest people in Britain also revealed a record 177 billionaires in the UK this year, up from 2021.
It comes as typical UK households come under increased financial pressure from rampant inflation, which struck a 40-year-high of 9% in April.
Overall, the richest 250 in the UK this year are worth £710.72 billion, compared to £658.09 billion in 2021, an 8% rise on last year, The Sunday Times said.
Enjoy the convenience of having The Sunday Post delivered as a digital ePaper straight to your smartphone, tablet or computer.
Subscribe for only £5.49 a month and enjoy all the benefits of the printed paper as a digital replica.Subscribe