Miles Dean interviewed on LBC News about the Chancellor’s wife’s ‘non-dom’ status
Miles Dean, Head of International Tax, was interviewed on LBC News following the news that the Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s wife, Akshata Murthy, claims non-domicile status.
Miles was interviewed on LBC News, 7 April 2022. An extract of the interview may be found below.
LBC News: The Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng defended Mr Sunak, saying “it’s completely unfair to scrutinise the tax affairs of Mrs Murthy, who is not a politician.” Well let’s get a view on this now on LBC News. Joining me live to discuss this very important story is Miles Dean, who is head of international tax at Andersen LLP. Good afternoon to you.
Miles Dean: Good afternoon.
LBC News: Let’s just break this down a little bit here. ‘Non-dom’ statuses have been part of the UK tax system for more than 200 years. I mean, looking through the documents that I can see, as far as I’m aware she’s not broken any rules or any laws.
MD: No, not at all. That’s absolutely correct.
LBC News: Right, so is this simply to do with the fact that we’re looking at this story because of who Mrs Murthy is married to? The Chancellor.
MD: Yes, absolutely, and I think the concept of domicile, and the tax regime that wraps around domicile in the UK has become, and has been, political football for many years, and I think that this is something of a perfect storm at the moment.
You have Rishi Sunak, the Chancellor of the Exchequer. His wife comes from an extremely wealthy family. She’s done clearly nothing wrong, and for Keir Starmer to brand her actions as taking part in some form of a scheme is just nonsensical, and he should know better than that.
But this perfect storm is the cost of living crisis that we are going through at the moment, which is really part and parcel of the government’s reaction to the pandemic, and the fact that they haven’t, for the last 20 to 30 years, looked at making the UK energy sufficient on its own behalf.
To me it is a complete non-story, especially given that the UK is not alone when making itself attractive to foreign investors, and foreign wealthy nationals.
LBC News: Ultimately, is it more of a case of attack the policy, not the politician?
MD: I think Miliband in 2018, and before that in 2015, said that if he was going to get elected, he would abolish the ‘non-dom’ regime. Well, if that’s what the Labour Party wants to campaign for in the next election, then they should put that on their manifesto.
At the moment the rules are as the rules are, and it has to be said that they’ve become extremely more complex over the last 10 years or so, because of the political football status of these ‘non-dom’ rules. The government has sought to put a time limit on them. After a certain amount of time a ‘non-dom’ has to start paying a levy, the remittance basis charge, to continue benefiting from the arrangement.
I honestly think that this is a storm in a teacup, and if they want to question anybody it should be Murthy herself, not her husband.