British Politics Live: Starmer accuses Sunak of fiscal ‘hypocrisy’ | Policy

The Chancellor’s spokesman has now clarified that he has a US green card, which means he is, by his own declaration, a permanent resident of the United States of America. This raises a wide range of questions, issues and concerns, including whether he was tax resident in the United States and how he could have followed the laws and rules of both countries. Government ministers claimed Mr Sunak’s green card was a ‘hangover from his days in the United States’. His spokesperson said he kept it for “travel reasons”. However, we do know that Mr. Sunak submitted annual tax returns to the United States to keep for several years after becoming an MP.

In any event, this clearly presents serious conflicts of interest with his duties as chancellor. If it was not declared, surely that must in itself be a material violation of the ministerial code. If it was stated, it suggests that successive prime ministers allowed a minister, then Chancellor of the Exchequer, to remain a permanent resident of a foreign country.

It is required for conditional permanent residence in the United States that the Chancellor has been “deemed a United States tax resident for United States income tax purposes.” This raises serious questions about whether the Chancellor was a resident alien for tax purposes even as he determined policy in the UK. It also appears that the Chancellor must have either repeatedly sought legal permission for prolonged but supposedly temporary periods of residence in the UK or flagrantly breached the relevant rules of an Allied democracy.

It is difficult to see how this can be compatible with the principles underlying the ministerial code, such as honesty.

Additionally, the Guardian reported that when Mr Sunak was appointed Chief Treasury Secretary in 2019, he gave up his salary for five months, a total of £34,000. There are serious questions about whether Rishi Sunak gave up his ministerial salary in 2020 to avoid paying US taxes. Indeed, by giving up his salary, Mr. Sunak thus earned just below the maximum threshold that US green card holders can earn abroad and avoid paying US income tax, under the exclusion scheme for income earned abroad.


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