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The Plan is Working: Rishi Sunak Races Up the Rich List as Homelessness Soars

The Prime Minister and his wife’s personal wealth rose to £651 million amid the biggest fall in living standards for British people since records began

Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak and his wife, Akshata Murty. Photo: Mark Thomas/Alamy

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Rishi Sunak and his wife Akshata Murty have added £120 million to their personal fortune over the past year, bringing their estimated wealth to £651 million, according to the latest edition of the Sunday Times Rich List.

The family’s rise in wealth has been largely linked to Murty’s shares in her family firm Infosys, which was co-founded by her billionaire father, with her shares reportedly growing in value by £108.8m to nearly £590m last year.

However, the Prime Minister’s personal wealth has also rose, with Downing Street recently revealing that he made a £1.8m profit on his holding in a US investment fund last year, while paying an effective rate of tax of just 23%.

The Sunak family’s surging wealth comes as new analysis by the Financial Times reveals that the UK has become the homelessness capital of the world, with the number of people without homes rising rapidly, well beyond any other developed nation in the world.

The analysis follows the Government’s attempts to pass a new law containing a provision to allow rough sleepers to be criminalised for the crime of having a bad odour.

The provision, which would allow for the fining and imprisonment of rough sleepers unable to use washing facilities, led to widespread outrage, forcing Downing Street to issue new guidelines discouraging the prosecution of homeless people for smelling.

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The rise in homelessness is part of a much broader trend, with official figures showing Britain has suffered the longest hit in living standards since records began in 1955.

These falling living standards come despite the wealth of Britain’s richest people continung to rise.

According to analysis by the House of Commons library, in the year to 2022/23, incomes for those in the bottom 80% of the UK population fell while those in the top 10% increased.

The Prime Minister has sought to blame the UK’s struggling economy on the onset of coronavirus in 2020.

However, the Prime Minister’s surging wealth and the decline in overall living standards, comes despite Sunak’s public insistence at the start of that pandemic that “we will not leave you behind” and “we are all in this together”.

As well as targeting the homeless, ministers intend to restrict welfare payments to those registered as long-term sick and disabled, with the Prime Minister insisting that Britain is suffering from a “sick note culture” in which individuals are making the “lifestyle choice” not to work.

However, according to the OECD, the UK actually spends significantly less on disability payments as a percentage of our GDP than 24 other European countries, most of which are significantly poorer than ourselves.


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And far from these benefits being handed out on a whim, figures revealed by the Observer newspaper show that the Government rejects 40% of disability benefit applications from multiple sclerosis, cerebral palsy and arthritis patients, while even rejecting one-in-four applications from amputees.

These attacks on poor and vulnerable groups come as the Government continues to resist increasing taxes on the wealthiest.

The Chancellor on Friday delivered a campaign speech, using Conservative party-commissioned Treasury figures, accusing his Labour opponents of planning to raise taxes if they are elected.

His claim comes despite the Government’s own spending watchdog forecasting that taxes will rise to their highest level in more than 70 years under the Conservatives by the end of this decade.

And despite Hunt’s claims to be cutting some taxes, such as National Insurance, the overall tax burden for many will continue to rise due to the long-term freezing of tax thresholds pushing many more people into higher rates of tax.

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