Rishi Sunak should have realised his family's tax affairs would be his non-reusable coffee cup, says Darren Grimes
It's wrong to go after a politician's wife, his wife and children aren't sitting around the Treasury table deciding whether or not to hike taxes.
Well folks, it's been quite the taxing week for most of us, with millions of workers around the UK facing a hike in National Insurance, at the same time as the worst cost of living crisis for generations tears inflationary chunks from our bank balances.
But we're not talking about that struggle in the press today; we're talking instead about the tax struggles of Akshata Murty, Chancellor Rishi Sunak's wife.
A tax debate led to a decision by Murty to pay UK tax on dividends from her £690 million stake in an Indian big tech company founded by her father.
Personally, I think it's wrong to go after a politician's wife, his wife and children aren't sitting around the Treasury table deciding whether or not to hike taxes. And it should be said that there's no suggestion of any wrongdoing here.
When it comes to a non-domiciled tax status, you still pay taxes on income made in this country and taxes on that made in India.
All that seems to have concluded here is that Murty will pay more in tax in Britain, and Labour will still claim a win and use this leak to damage the Tory brand as being out of touch with real Britain.
When a tax status of a private individual is revealed un an unprecedented leak, I am minded to say that someone is baying for Sunak's political career, especially ahead of May's local elections, local elections that could be disastrous for a beleaguered mid-term government.
The line from opposition politicians will be that the chief tax raiser's family has tried to dodge taxes that the rest of us are forced to pay.
It suggests a political naivety in Rishi Sunak that he didn't see this sooner, I remember a scene from a Conservative Party Conference in which Boris Johnson was handed a non-reusable coffee cup, only have it snatched from his hands by another aid before he could be photographed sipping from the non-environmentally-friendly receptacle.
Rishi Sunak should have realised his family's tax affairs would be his non-reusable coffee cup and have had the foresight to dispose of it earlier in his career.
I do fear though that we're much too quick to lurch to the politics of envy, forgetting that one person's poverty isn't caused by another's wealth.
Having those whose fathers have made vast fortunes in tech companies elsewhere make their lives here in Britain is good for our nation.
One minister reportedly told The Times that Sunak was simply too rich to be prime minister. How rich is too rich? Personal wealth doesn't dictate a person's understanding of how things like energy bills and taxes impact those at the very bottom, I dare say millionaire Sunak understands the plight of a family in County Durham more than most of the middle classes in our country.
We simply must not become a nation that shuns high-wealth individuals out of envy or spite. Dismissing the wealthy as being unable to understand. Many of us feel a deep sense of solidarity with the people of Ukraine, but most of us have never been there, yet we'd like to assume we understand that life must be pretty awful if the Russians waltz into your nation with rockets and rifles.
Food for thought folks, food for thought.