Keir Starmer follows Rishi Sunak in releasing tax returns

Keir Starmer has released his tax returns for the previous two years, showing he earned little outside his parliamentary income except for a windfall when his sister sold the family home he helped her buy.

The Labour leader released a summary of his past two years of tax payments on Thursday, a day after the prime minister, Rishi Sunak, released three years’ worth of his.

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.

The Labour leader also announced on Thursday he would give up the tax-exempt status he enjoys on contributions to his pension from his time as director of public prosecutions.

Starmer had been accused of hypocrisy for taking advantage of the special status of the DPP pension while also promising to tax others who contribute more than £1m to their pension pot over a lifetime.

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.”

Meanwhile, the Guardian revealed that Sunak had benefited from more than £300,000 in tax savings over the past three years as a result of a capital gains tax (CGT) cut his party brought in in 2016, for which he both voted and spoke in favour.

The Conservative government cut the top rate of CGT from 28% to 20% that year, a move Sunak welcomed, saying it would help boost investment in British business.

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.”


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