Rishi Sunak Asked If He Thinks He Pays Enough Tax In Awkward Live Interview
After announcing a series of business tax cuts and spending increases as part of his autumn budget, Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak is facing questions over his own contributions to the public coffers.
Sunak is understood to be a multimillionaire, partly as a result of his time as an investment banker, and partly due to the fact that he’s married to one of the wealthiest women in Britain. However, under UK tax laws he only pays National Insurance contributions on his annual salary.
Sky News crunched the numbers, and worked out that Sunak currently pays National Insurance contributions of around £8,500 on his Chancellor’s salary of £148,000. Following his budget announcements, host Kay Burley decided to quiz him on these figures, asking the Chancellor, ‘Given that you earn a good salary, and you did very well in the City… you’re very comfortably off – do you feel that that is enough of a contribution by you?’
You can watch it here:
In response, Sunak failed to answer whether he felt he was contributing his fair share, instead maintaining that he believed the National Insurance system was ‘a progressive way to raise money’, pointing out that the top 14% of UK earners contribute around half of total National Insurance funds.
It was confirmed as part of the budget yesterday, October 27, National Insurance payments are set to rise by 1.25% in what The Sun described as a ‘tax raid on workers’.
Pushed again to answer the question, Sunak said ‘there’s no perfect way to raise tax’, before proceeding to speak over Burley as she tried to ask him again.
‘You’re worth tens of millions of pounds. If you’re paying £8,500 in National Insurance and you’ve got a very healthy bank balance, do you think that is fair?’ she said, before once again being deflected by Sunak.
The frosty exchange proved awkward watching for many viewers at home, with one person tweeting, ‘Which university do politicians go to to learn how to avoid answering a direct question so well!!’
‘Kay Burley interviewing Rishi Sunak on Sky, what was going on there?’ another person asked.
Others expressed their anger at Sunak’s response amid recent welfare cuts, with one person tweeting, ‘I just watched that off the back of opening my Universal Credit account this morning and seeing £86 wiped off it. Have a nice day [Rishi].’
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