‘He can donate £729m to charity then’: Critics dismiss Sunak’s call for the rich to donate alms
Rishi Sunak was roundly mocked online after pledging to donate his estimated £1,200 bills to charity, despite being worth £730m.
The super-rich Chancellor of the Exchequer has urged other wealthy Britons to hand over the state’s £400 property payment to charity.
Asked about his intentions on ITV’s Good Morning Britain today, Sunak said: “I’m sure he will join me in giving that money to charity.”
Sunak is believed to own three houses in the UK, including a house and flat in central London and a sprawling property in his Yorkshire constituency.
Rishi Sunak is pictured with his wife Akshata Murthy at a dinner at the British Museum in February.
However, not everyone was impressed by the mega-rich chancellor’s donation vote, and they took to Twitter.
A university professor sarcastically described Mr. Sunak’s offer as “very generous”
That would potentially give a profit of £1,200.
It is also estimated that he owns shares in a further nine properties in the UK and abroad.
But not everyone was impressed by Sunak’s donation promise, and critics took to Twitter to vent their anger.
User OwsWillis wrote: ‘That’s fine, but why does a billionaire get a £400 rebate on each of his (estimated) 12 houses anyway?
‘This is not *your* money to give to charity, it’s £4,800 that belongs to the public purse.’
The £21bn bailout presented by Mr Sunak yesterday includes £400 for energy bills for the country’s 28m households.
But the subsidy will apply to properties rather than individuals, so those with multiple homes could rack up significantly more savings.
The chancellor and his wife, Akshata Murthy, are estimated to be worth £730m, according to The Sunday Times’ Rich List.
Twitter user @catrolio added: “I suggest you keep £1m and donate the other £729m to charity.” #CostOfLivingCrisis’
One Twitter user asked the Sunaks to donate much more than just £1,200 to charity.
User Haward Soper said the Chancellor is a ‘philanthropist’, with his tongue firmly in cheek.
Another suggested trying the means of the scheme: “I think billionaires will probably be fine”
Professor Paul Bernal added: ‘It is very generous of Rishi Sunak to say that he will give his £400 refund to charity. In other news, Rishi Sunak and his wife have a combined wealth of £730m.
And tweeter @chaward chimed in sarcastically: ‘Philanthropist @RishiSunak says he will donate £400 per household to charity. Very kind of him. Then he will get a tax break of £180 for each of his several houses.
Scottie P added: “Maybe they should try it out so more of it gets to those who really need it first, because I think billionaires will probably be fine.”
Boris Johnson has previously suggested that he will not personally benefit from the government energy bill booklet, despite owning more than one property.
The Prime Minister insisted that his ‘arrangements are different’ from those of the Chancellor.
All of Boris Johnson’s properties are listed as rented while he uses official residences in Downing Street and in Checkers, where he does not pay utility bills directly.
Asked if he would follow the chancellor’s lead in donating payments to charity, the prime minister suggested he would not benefit from the booklet on energy bills.
“My arrangements are different because I live in a government flat,” he told reporters during a visit to Stockton-on-Tees.
According to Parliament’s register of interests, Johnson has a 20 per cent stake in a property in Somerset, a 50 per cent stake in a property in London and owns a house in Oxfordshire.
But they are all listed as rented while using official residences in Downing Street and in Checkers, and not directly paying utility bills.
The Chancellor has not recorded any rental income from his UK property portfolio.
Rishi Sunak, who recently appeared on the Sunday Times Rich List with the wife of heiress Akshata Murty, urged people who don’t need the money to ‘join me’ in handing out energy bill flyers to good causes.
Mr Sunak is believed to own three houses in the UK, including a house and flat in central London and a sprawling property in his Yorkshire constituency (pictured)
It was also reported that he moved from his official Downing Street residence last month in the wake of controversy over his family’s tax affairs.
Justifying the way the new cost-of-living support was being delivered to all households rather than just the poorest, the chancellor said there are only a couple “practical” ways to deliver the payments, either universally or at through the municipal tax system, which could exclude some deserving individuals.
He told BBC Breakfast: “Second homes represent one or two per cent of the property stock.”
Sunak said there are only a couple of “practical” ways to deliver payments, either universally or through the municipal tax system, which could exclude some deserving people.
It is estimated that 770,000 households have two houses that are not usually rented, and 60,000 have three.
The Chancellor, 42, recently became the first top politician to be named to the Sunday Times Rich List along with his wife.
The couple are credited with a joint fortune of £730 million, ranking them 222nd out of the 250 richest people in the UK.
Ms Murty owns a £430m stake in her father’s IT business, the Indian tech billionaire, and was recently embroiled in a dispute over having non-dom tax status..