Rishi Sunak and Akshata Murty join Britain’s rich list with a combined fortune of £730m | Rich lists

Rishi Sunak has become the first frontline politician to be ranked among the UK’s richest people, just days after the Chancellor warned consumers that “the next few months will be difficult” as pressure on the cost of living escalates.

Sunak, a former hedge fund manager, and his Indian heiress wife, Akshata Murty, have been named on the Sunday Times rich list as the 222nd richest people in the UK, with a combined fortune of £730million sterling.

Becoming the first frontline politician to be named in the annual ranking since its inception in 1989 is likely to increase pressure on Sunak to do more to help households struggling with inflation, which has reached 9%. in April, its highest level in 40 years, and soaring. energy bills.

At a Confederation of British Industry dinner on Wednesday evening, Sunak said: “There is no action any government can take, no law we can pass, that can take away these global forces of day to day. The next few months will be difficult. But where we can act, we will.

Sunak and Murty’s entry into the Sunday Times rich list follows the revelation last month that Murty had claimed non-dom status so as not to legally pay tax on the annual dividends she receives from £690m stake in Indian IT company Infosys, founded by his billionaire father.

After growing public outrage, Murty bowed to pressure to pay tax in the UK, saying she realized many people felt her tax arrangements were not ‘work compatible’. of my husband as Chancellor”.

The couple have a property portfolio of four homes worth an estimated £15million, including a £5million penthouse in Santa Monica overlooking the beach where Baywatch was filmed.

Dominic Raab, the justice secretary, said it was “fantastic” news that Sunak had joined the rich list and dismissed suggestions that his vast wealth meant he was out of touch with people’s daily struggles to make ends meet.

“He’s a fantastic example of someone who’s been successful in business, who’s going to have a big impact in public service,” Raab told Times Radio. “I think we want more of these people. I think it’s fantastic that you have someone of Anglo-Indian descent, showing everyone in our country that you can reach the top of politics.

“And frankly, I think if I understood correctly, the Sunday Times rich list reflected not only him, but his wife. His wife is an incredibly successful entrepreneur in her own right.

The UK now has a record 177 billionaires, six more than in 2021. Their combined wealth rose 9.4% to a record £653 billion.

George Dibbs, the head of the Center for Economic Justice at the Institute for Public Policy Research, said the coronavirus pandemic has allowed already extremely wealthy people to increase their fortunes while the savings of the poorest are wiped out.

“As we enter a cost-of-living crisis that only happens once in a generation, the Sunday Times rich list shows us again that great wealth often breeds more wealth. especially true during the pandemic, when the wealthiest have accumulated more wealth than the poorest, who have saved nothing,” he said. “Now there are more billionaires in the UK than ever before and the collective wealth of the wealthiest has increased further.”

Dibbs called on Sunak to act quickly to introduce taxes “that redistribute the wealth gains of the richest to pay for higher Social Security benefits for those who need them most.”

Julia Davies, founding member of Patriotic Millionaires UK, a group of super-rich people calling for the introduction of a wealth tax, said the list showed an “obscene concentration of wealth as millions struggle to live simply”.

“The fact that our Chancellor is now joining the ranks of the wealthiest people in the UK – while he and the government refuse to consider taxing wealth rather than work – is a shocking insight into our political system. We have repeatedly asked the Chancellor to raise taxes on us, the wealthiest people in society. His appearance on the rich list makes it very clear why he’s not listening.

“As the Bank of England warns of apocalyptic rise in food prices, 2 million people are skipping meals and a third of people cannot afford essentials. Meanwhile, the wealthy, as always, sit nicely. This disparity must be corrected. It is political and economic neglect that our politicians are not focused on managing the extreme wealth gap at a time of national economic emergency.

Sri and Gopi Hinduja have been named the UK’s richest people, with an estimated fortune of £28.5billion, the largest recorded in the rich list’s 34 years. The brothers who run a property-industrial conglomerate from London have seen their wealth rise by £11.5billion in the past year to put them at the top of the annual wealth rankings ahead of inventor Sir James Dyson, which takes second place with £23 billion.

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Sri, 86, and Gopi, 82, Hinduja and their extended family own a wide range of industrial and financial businesses and investments based primarily in the UK, India and Switzerland. They are currently converting the Old War Office building in Whitehall into a Raffles Hotel with 120 rooms, 11 restaurants and 85 serviced apartments.

Luke Hildyard, executive director of the High Pay Centre, a think tank that focuses on excessive wages, said: ‘It’s not really efficient or sensible or necessary to run the economy in a way that allows people who are already incredibly wealthy to accumulate even more while much of the population is crushed by a cost of living crisis.

“With stagnant wages and miserable economic growth, it is clear that a fairer sharing of existing wealth is the most important political challenge of our time. That means taxing the super-rich more effectively and getting the businesses they own and invest in to pay their workers more.

Hildyard calculated that if total household wealth in Britain had grown at the same rate as the wealth of the top 20 entrants to the rich list over the past decade, the average household would now be £205,000 more than currently.

the Top 10 richest people in the UK

Sri and Gopi Hinduja and family – £28.5 billion

Sir James Dyson and his family – £23 billion

David and Simon Reuben and family – £22.3 billion

Sir Leonard Blavatnik – £20 billion

Guillaume Pousaz – £19.3 billion

Lakshmi Mittal and her family – £17 billion

Christoph Henkel and his family – £15 billion

Guy, George, Alannah and Galen Weston and their family – £13.5 billion

Kirsten and Jorn Rausing £12 billion

Charlene de Carvalho-Heineken and Michel de Carvalho – £11.4 billion

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