Rishi Sunak has promised that he will within the coming year become the first prime minister since 2016 to publish his tax returns in full.
Sunak made the pledge during his unsuccessful Conservative leadership campaign against Liz Truss in the summer. But he has not yet made the figures public, sparking a warning from Liberal Democrat chief whip Wendy Chamberlain that failure to make good on the promise would risk doing even more damage to public trust in the Conservative Party.
Sunak’s personal financial affairs have come under intense scrutiny after it was revealed that his wife Akshata held non-dom tax status and it emerged that he held a Green Card and filed tax returns in the US while being Chancellor. Details of the couple’s fortune, believed to be around £730mn, are potentially politically sensitive at a time when the government’s autumn statement is expected to deliver a painful austerity package of tax rises and public spending cuts. Asked during his visit to Indonesia for the G20 summit whether he still intended to make his tax returns public, Sunak replied: “Yes, of course.”
However, there is no legal requirement for them to make the information public, though some have done. David Cameron published his returns after coming under great pressure as PM, Boris Johnson made his public statements while London mayor and George Osborne did the same as chancellor.