The Conservative Party leadership race came up with the final two candidates. Either Rishi Sunak or Liz Truss will succeed Boris Johnson as prime minister of the UK. Johnson resigned earlier this month after a series of scandals led to dozens of ministerial resignations. Ten Conservatives stood in the contest to replace him. Over five rounds of voting, members of parliament cut those down to two (CNN).
Sunak’s and Truss’ views of taxation are different. Rishi Sunak does not expect to cut personal taxes until at least autumn 2023 if he becomes prime minister. However, Ms Truss has vowed to reverse the National Insurance rise. She has also promised to scrap the corporation tax increase coming in the spring (the Telegraph). Regarding tax pay, Rishi Sunak’s wife has evaded paying tax. Her tax evasion can be a negative point for Rishi Sunak’s leadership of the Conservative Party.
Two candidates remain in the battle
Bloomberg says two candidates remain in the battle to succeed Boris Johnson as head of the Conservative Party and PM. Tory MPs held their final ballot Wednesday in the race to elect a new premier. Trade Minister Penny Mordaunt went out after receiving the fewest votes. According to CNN, Sunak won 137 votes, and Truss got 113 in the final round of voting. Penny Mordaunt, with 105 votes, lost out. As Bloomberg says, Rishi Sunak and Liz Truss will compete for the votes of some 175,000 Tory party members. The government will announce the results on Sept. 5.
Rishi Sunak will make a good Prime Minister
According to Business Standard, Almost half of the UK’s governing Conservative Party voters believe Rishi Sunak will make a good Prime Minister. The results of an opinion poll on Sunday (Jul. 17, 2022) show this. The Sunday Telegraph reports the results of the JL Partners poll of more than 4,400 people. The poll found that 48% of those who supported the Tories in the 2019 general election admired Sunak. They felt Rishi Sunak would be a good Prime Minister. This is also the first poll that puts Foreign Secretary Liz Truss in second place. Thirty-nine per cent backed her for Prime Minister. And 33 per cent were in favour of Trade Minister Penny Mordaunt.
As Ipsos says, new polling by Ipsos shows Britons think that, among the eight candidates, Rishi Sunak is most expected to do an excellent job as PM. Almost 4 in 10 (37%) expect him to do well, an increase of 6 percentage points since 5-6 July. However, 30% think he would do a lousy job, and another 33% are neutral or don’t know.
Tax reductions or tax rises
Forbes says the next Conservative Party leader and new UK Prime Minister will be announced on Monday, 5 September. The race is between Rishi Sunak and Liz Truss. The candidate winning the race will need to make tough calls on the economy. The winner’s economic policy will affect all people’s finances.
According to the Guardian, Rishi Sunak has launched his most potent attack yet on his rival Liz Truss’s economic policies. Sunak claims that Truss’s £30bn plans for unfunded tax cuts risk stoking inflation and increasing interest rates. Tax and spending have become the key battleground in the hard-fought contest. Sunak insists that cutting taxes immediately, as Truss has promised, would risk exacerbating the cost of living crisis.
The Telegraph says Sunak does not expect to cut personal taxes until at least autumn 2023 if he becomes PM. He claimed Liz Truss was misleading the public by promising an immediate giveaway. He has restated his argument that bringing down taxes before then would worsen the problem.
Rishi Sunak’s wife does not pay UK tax
According to Vogue, Sunak was implicated in the “partygate” scandal that contributed to Johnson’s downfall. However, his minor involvement helped him emerge unscathed in the public eye. More perilous to his public image was the scandal that erupted earlier this year. It became clear that Rishi Sunak’s wife did not pay UK tax on her overseas income. Rishi Sunak’s wife, Akshata Murty, is one of the wealthiest women in Britain.
According to the BBC, Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s wife has said she would pay UK taxes on her overseas income. She said this following a row over her non-domicile status. She owns £700m in shares of the Indian IT giant Infosys, founded by her father. As a non-domiciled (non-dom) UK resident, she is not legally required to pay UK taxes on her overseas income. But she told the BBC that she did not want to be a “distraction” for her husband. Her decision to change her tax arrangements follows accusations of hypocrisy against the Chancellor. Opposition parties say Mr Sunak’s family is benefiting when the cost of living is rising. The BBC estimates Ms Murty would have avoided £2.1m a year in UK tax through her non-dom status.
Rishi Sunak has recently come under pressure over questions regarding the tax status of his wife, Akshata Murthy. She is a multi-millionaire domiciled in India. Some Conservatives were worried that Sunak found this level of scrutiny hard. They are concerned Sunak would buckle under the pressure of being prime minister. Despite this, he has consistently led the pack among Conservative MPs. While Sunak might be the frontrunner, he will be surrounded by enemies on all sides (CNN).
Many people will be asking a question. Was it ethical that the Chancellor of the Exchequer was benefiting from a tax scheme? The tax scheme allowed his household to pay significantly less to tens of millions of pounds. Exchequer benefited from a tax scheme whilst piling on 15 separate tax rises to the British public. Lib Dem Treasury spokesperson Christine Jardine called on the Sunak household to backdate the taxes in full (the BBC). Rishi Sunak’s wife has avoided paying tax, while Sunak insists on avoiding tax reduction. Thus Rishi Sunak’s wife and his personal life are opposing points of his leadership of the Conservative Party.