Keir Starmer Follows Rishi Sunak in Releasing Tax Returns – On Thursday, Keir Starmer made public a summary of his tax payments for the past two years, which demonstrated that he earned very little outside of his parliamentary income. The only exception was a one-time payment when his sister sold the family home that he had helped her purchase. This announcement came one day after the prime minister, Rishi Sunak, released information on his tax payments for three years.
But whereas Sunak’s summary showed he earned millions from a US-based investment fund, Starmer’s income came almost entirely from his salaries as an MP and leader of the opposition. Over the two years, Starmer earned a total of just under £275,000. He also gained just under £100,000 when his sister sold the property in Oxted that he helped her buy for her family to live in. In total he paid £118,580 in income tax and capital gains tax on these earnings.
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On Thursday, the Labour leader revealed his decision to relinquish the tax-exempt status he had been enjoying on his pension contributions during his tenure as the director of public prosecutions. This move was prompted by accusations of hypocrisy leveled against Starmer, who had been advocating for taxing individuals who contribute more than £1 million to their pension pot over their lifetime, while benefiting from the privileged status of the DPP pension.
But he said on Thursday he would forgo his tax exemption if he is elected prime minister at the next election, saying: “I’m very happy to be – and will be – in the same position as everybody else in this country.” According to news outlet, it was disclosed that Sunak had gained over £300,000 in tax savings within the last three years due to the capital gains tax (CGT) reduction introduced by his party in 2016, which he supported both through voting and speaking in favor of it.
The Conservative government lowered the highest CGT rate from 28% to 20% during that year, and Sunak praised the move, claiming it would promote investment in UK businesses. The tax records released on Wednesday show he benefited heavily from that, given how much of his earnings came from capital gains on a US-based investment fund. The fund gave him a taxable gain of £1.6m in 2021/22, the records show. A No 10 source said: “The tax return shows that a considerable amount of capital gains tax is being paid.”