For Rishi Sunak, Family Wealth From Outsourcing Adds to a Secretive Fortune

Oct 28, 2022 · 257 comments
Amar Kumar (Bangalore -India)
As an Indian I am saddened by all the sleaze the family has engaged in. I remember Balzac s line that behind every great wealth there is great crime. He was born into wealth, pursuited wealth, married wealth so I doubt he can relate to the trials and tribulations of the common people. When Infosys was founded a lot of land was granted in Bangalore at throw away prices to the company. Now money, not just controls the govt. but it is the govt. itself.
Dolcefire (dmckee-stovall)
It seems that Great Britain is as wedded to the uber rich as Americans. Translation of both of these is the denial of ordinary peoples’ right to self governance; Which bodes ill for these nations and the world of nations. We cannot expect to evolve as a species when we can’t ensure progressive ideas or intentions will come from “quasi leaders” like we seen pass through Houses of Parliament or the US Executive or Legislative branches. It won’t happen until we deny money the right to rule under any circumstances. To continue to do so places us all in peril.
Outer Space (New YorK)
At a time when the west has to unite and strengthen, when India is buying Russian blood oil, when Europeans have to work together on security and ensure that Brexit is not further aiding Russia or China, I learn about the new U.K. PM’s background with terror. The outsourcing effort had broadly violated European value systems and eroded entire societies. I am hoping and praying for Labor to return to power and for a reversal of Brexit.
Anonymous (DC)
Sunak seems a sleazy politician and will probably not last past the winter when many Britons may die due to inadequate and unaffordable heating. While Indians may be proud that he rose to the top political position, Sunak will not be good for race relations in Britain as he does not understand the working classes who often resent both the affluent and immigrants.
Jasonwlevine (Canada)
Saying, as many are here, that it is racist to question and investigate the sources of his wealth - well, that's just bullying. Please don't pull the racist card to try to silence people you disagree with. There is altogether too much of that.
Jenifer B (Santa Rosa, CA.)
Do you know any honest politicians? They are all or most 98% corrupt . This one should really know a lot about the common working class people...(That's sarcasm BTW)
Robin Le Breton (Brazil)
Rich or poor, you can't help admiring the incredible capacity of Indians to adapt to any environment. Finally the Brits see that the Empire on which the Sun Never Sets is the Indian Empire! From the time when the Rose-Ringed Parakeet (from India) began breeding in London's Hyde Park to the final occupation of Number 10, Downing Street, the spread of the Indian Empire has never met defeat! Jai Hind!
Barry Long (Australia)
@Robin Le Breton I'm not sure that the vast numbers of impoverished Indians care about the spread of the "Indian Empire".
TSV (NYC)
It is really shocking that after May, BoJo and Truss we now get Mr. Sunak and his bag of tricks. The British really are something. Between "Spare" and the conniving Sunak all one can do is shake one's head and wonder how. Just how? Earlier this year, footage emerged of a 20-year-old Mr. Sunak telling documentary filmmakers: “I have friends who are aristocrats. I have friends who are upper class. I have friends who are, you know, working class, but — well, not working class.”
Meredith (New York)
Article in The Guardian UK: Labour-- ‘A better partner’: Labour woos big business in bid to oust Rishi Sunak Clip: “We’re looking to the future,” said Reynolds (shadow business secretary). Aiming to strengthen ties with industry after links wore thin under Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership, he said the party had a clear opportunity to supplant the Tories reputationally after the period of unprecedented economic chaos under Sunak’s predecessor, Liz Truss.”
bnc (Lowell,MA)
More than one US company , I believe, has failed because it replaced its technical wealth with cheaper labor from Infosys.
redweather (Atlanta)
It is very difficult to view Sunak as anything other than a well connected opportunist who has and will continue to reap financial benefits from his political associations.
Gwen (Minnesota)
@tomorrow, Colorado. History proves It is more the rule than the exception. Few indeed are the Franklin Roosevelts of the world who stand up to their own class and are adored by the poor and working class. I’ll never forget the old black man who was interviewed by the press as he cried while Roosevelt’s funeral train passed by. The reporter asked if he knew Roosevelt. Th man said “ I didn’t know him, but he knew me”. I have not read of anything that Sunak has said or done that indicates that he understands or identifies with the working class or ordinary people. He’s upper class to the core, just like so many British PM’s both now and in the past. Britain is a class society, same as India. We’ll see what he does. But I doubt his main concern will be the common good.
tomorrow (Colorado)
@Gwen So you understandthere will be exceptions. Still,why are you adamant he will be no good? What do you have against him? Have not read anything that indicates he understands the working people? Proof of absence is not absence of proof. You are just echoing the faux concern of some people "he MIGHT not be good for working class" and trying hard to find fault with him.Have an open mind. I didnt see so many working-class people concern when Cameron, Johnson or Truss came to power and they all belonged to the sameparty, with the same stances. Judge a man by his actions.
Sam (CA)
The monarchy doesn't pay taxes either, why is there no outcry about that?
Barry Long (Australia)
@Sam There is.
Kerm (Wheatfields)
Politics and business in Britain are not much different than in America. First we were all against a very conservative Truss tax policy and now here in America we are against a vey wealthy conservative aristocrat as a Prime Minister in Britain. What is America looking for here. Britain's can't seem to please America. And here in America our political leaders do not seem to please Americans either. Maybe David Brooks has a point here- "The Rising Tide of Global Sadness". Are we to free a country?
CATango (Ventura)
While I was a finance practitioner in the ‘80’s and ‘90’s, offshoring and outsourcing was core to the mantra that enhancing shareholder wealth was the most important goal of corporate management. Removing from a company’s income statement those burdensome costs of labor, healthcare, pension, training, turnover, and freeing the balance sheet and P&L of fixed costs burdens associated with plant and equipment, property taxes and maintenance, automation and the need to address environmental issues drastically improved returns. All of that was transferred to China et al, leaving many US businesses as virtual marketers/order takers or worse, eliminated. Seemed like a great idea; stocks benefitted. Lots of workers didn’t and our strategic strength was dramatically reduced. We’re paying for that with a very large disgruntled populace who would like to regain a shot at prosperity by making America great…again. That phrase is inaccurate in the sense that we are still great, just off course. We forgot what made us great. Our current problem is that we’re really not developing broad strategy to recapture the productive capacity that made us who we are. The chip deal is good. What else ought we focus on? I don’t know that it’s a topic of consideration, and may not be until China kicks us to the curb. Then it will pretty late in the game.
Meredith (New York)
@CATango ..outsourcing, offshoring---- and stocks benefited, lots of workers didn't. So, is this related to why our past authoritarian president was elected, and who still commands loyalty from ordinary disgruntled citizens clinging to the GOP to their misfortune?
Yahoo (Somerset)
Interesting read. It is disappointing that with his background in economics Sunak is one of the Brexit architects. Back then I thought that Britain would use the vote to force the EU to reform itself. I am still wondering about the discussion at the time: Let's cut ties to our biggest export market. That will show the EU! Splendid idea!
Glenayr (Ontario)
@Yahoo It does make one wonder what were the motivating forces in a Oxford, then Stanford Business School educated, Goldman Sachs analyst, individual to support a dead end policy like Brexit. Hard to believe he didn't see the writing on the wall for the London financial community. London is just becoming another regional stock market and being replaced by EU markets. With his credentials Sunak should have seen that coming. Was Sunak influenced by his in laws and does Infosys do better with an isolated UK.
Busybee (Denver)
It seems to not matter to authoritarians in politics or religion that there certain facts or trends in the economy, environment, public opinion or governance, that ought to be considered, and that major decisions should include consideration of precedent or consensus. With Brexit the Tories have singlehandedly reduced the UK's economy by a third in recent years, and Rishi became PM only because Liz wanted to be the Thatcher of this century. She and Kwasi tanked the value of the pound and pension plans overnight by making snap, rash decisions that involved no interaction with markets, stakeholders and or constituents. Boris went to India thinking he could pull off direct trade deals with emerging markets like India to compensate for the loss of free trade with a massive market like Europe. The right wing across the planet lives off the appeal to religion, class, race, and across the world continues to tank the economy, the environment, and overall public well being. Putin, Xi, Bolsanaro, Trump, and now we can add Rishi to that list...
JSC (Out West)
Shocking amount of sympathy in these comments for somebody with a personal stake and moneymaking history in BOTH further financialization of society and outsourcing (both in the sense of privatizing government functions and offshoring jobs). Even if he doesn't use his public office to feather his nest (why would he need to?), it sounds pretty clear where his sympathies and problem-solving energy lie. When I was a kid in the 80s "career politician" was a dirty word, but it looks better and better the more and more titans of industry capture our politics.
tomorrow (Colorado)
@JSC If sympathy iswarranted,he will get it. No need to be contrarian about it. People reacted when he was attackedfor his wealth, sometimes too harshly. You should always have a sense of justice. Nothing wrong with that. As for a dirty politician,donot apply what you know about this country,that toofrom the 80s,to everyone you meet.
Ray (Idaho)
@JSC career politicians is still a dirty word to a few, just not enough. But now British and India corporate has decided to bypass supporting puppets and just install smarter people,themselves to be in control. Unlike here in America where they are trying to install a severely brain damaged ex- athlete to be part of 100 of the most influential powerful in this country.
M. Salerno (Novato, CA)
Including Trump in a list of wealthy leaders is a bit of joke. He has filed bankruptcy innumerable times and is only worth money if you don't look at what he owes which is considerable. Especially since he never pays most of his bills and much of his on paper money is less than his ill gotten gains.
Jim Greenwood (VT)
Get rich by working for a hedge fund! But you're not really creating any goods or services, so you are basically just skimming money from those less wealthy and moving it to those who are wealthier. Tax that income at 90%. And make our lowest paid workers, who DO provide goods and services, wealthy in proportion to their work.
Jay S (NC)
If Sunak had married, say, a white American heiress with billions to her name, I suspect this pearl clutching about outsourcing and immigration may not be quite as widespread. The benefits of both outsourcing (lower costs to Western consumers), and immigration of highly skilled computer professionals to the West have been immense. Job losses in the West in manufacturing have precious little to do with Infosys. Or Sunak. They have everything to do with the realignment of skills and cost-benefit analyses.
Stan Continople (brooklyn)
The New York Marathon is coming up soon, and it's been billed for several years as the "TCS New York Marathon", TCS being Tata Consultancy Services, another Indian outsourcing company responsible for the loss of thousands of American jobs and the depressing of wages for those remaining here.
tomorrow (Colorado)
@Stan Continople TCS is not responsible for taking your jobs. They took advantage of a business opportunity. You should take up your complaints with your politicians instead of hating on Indian companies and Indians. H-1B holders are human beings too, and you say the wages are depressed, but you cant lawfully hire an H-1B for the same job at a lower salary. Maybe you should check up on H-1B rules. Maybe they do three people's work, but then that will be capitalism at work, and again something your elected representatives should do to make sure everyone else is taken care of too. Untilthen, it is easy to blame Indians, but not avery good strategy.
C. Shridhar (Las Vegas)
The companies to whom jobs are outsourced are not “responsible” for the act of outsourcing- that responsibility by definition would lie with the Western companies who wanted to reduce labor costs & thus improve their bottom lines. Basic free market economics. TCS would have made a legal bid to sponsor the New York Marathon and won the right to do so. If outsourcing is a crime why not get the US Congress to outlaw the practice and watch that law being challenged in a nano second by the “outsource-rs”. The laws of the free market rule the western hemisphere.
Adrian (The Cotswolds, UK)
That an Orwell Prize finalist should descend to these depths defies irony. Sunak, a clever boy who went to the most cleverclogs private school in England, adopted a veneer of upper or upper-middle class self-confidence overlaid on a hard-working, thrifty, professional, East African Indian and Hindu background. Made some money using his brain in the City for investment banks and hedge funds and then married a daughter of the founder of one of India's larger corporate behemoths, who understandably shielded herself from paying more UK income tax than necessary by declaring non-domiciled tax status. This isn't even news, let alone news conveyed in tones of astonishment and misplaced and entirely unjustified outrage. Seems like the country needs a clever hard-working chap in charge. Lucky to have him. We are so over "race". It would be more fitting if wokesters from Panorama got over their prejudices too: it's embarrassing. Come on, use that brain.
KSNYC (NY)
Haha....Rishi proposing cuts on benefits and rasing taxes while his wife squirrels away profits from shady tax dodge is a bit like Clarence Thomas being on the SCOTUS deciding election cases while his wife kept texting Mark Meadows suggesting ways to undo the 2020 election. But spouses are independent and should not be tied to the office holder...yeah ok.
Robert lund (Bournemouth , UK)
Rishi Sunak comes from a middle class family in Southampton. His father was a local doctor and his mother ran a small chemist's shop. They were not very wealthy. He met, and married a woman who happened to be the daughter of a succesfull business man. Very few people in the UK hold this against him. Of course the usual suspects- BBC, Guardian, etc are trying to stir up resentment against him. Also some deluded US media hosts , totally detached from reality, are bizzarely suggesting there is a "racist backlash " against him. Very weird. The vast majority of British people are not prejudiced against those who do well or are from India. So why are the US media playing to a strange playbook that bears no relation to reality?
Saritha (america)
@Robert lund Good comment. The U.S. media pretend to be woke, but they are racist actually, and almost always put down an immigrant (or child of immigrant) striver who gets very wealthy and/or happens to belong to the conservative political party. Meanwhile, crickets on wealthy U.S. politicians like Pelosi or John Kerry. Different standards.
Mookie (Mossy in Seattle)
So NYT’s is stating he married his way into his $850M net worth while other reputable sources say his wealth was from a hedge funder corporate raider. Suspiciously muddle. And I quite agree with the Daily Show’s Ronny which was mocking both US & UK media praising he’s Asian. Of course, it’s the non-Asians condemning. Dude, is not Asian he’s Indian. Using that antiquated term to include the whole of India is capitulating and perpetuating the racist British imperialism ideology. Sadly our tone deaf census still considers East Indians as Asians because of the British colonial geography map. It is ludicrously outrageous. But Asian-Americans just eye-roll focusing on pursuing a life of fulfillment and happiness.
Cody McCall (tacoma)
As Leona Helmsley once noted, taxes--and the rules--are for the 'little people'. Like me. And probably you. And that does not include 'Reesh'.
Sim S. (DC)
Some of the rhetoric being peddled in this article is extremely unsettling. To be clear, I don’t care for Rishi Sunak, his party or his politics, but claiming that Infosys helped “replace” American workers with Indian immigrants makes it all sound so conspiratorial and shady — this is the same fear mongering right wingers use and is, frankly, dangerous. I expected better from the NYT and wonder if the author would have felt comfortable using similar language to portray white man or a Western company.
VD (NYS)
@Sim S. If you have been through the H-1B process before, you know how easy it is to game the system and hire foreign workers on the cheap. Infosys did exactly that and got caught. But in America big corporations only need to pay a fine and not admit guilt. A slap on the wrist that's nothing compared to the profits they reap and the damage they do to all of us.
Mark (L.I.)
They are hiding too much. There time will come.
Bird (Everywhere)
What’s with the fixation on the in-laws? This is a level of scrutiny never before applied to PM’s with less melanin.
Emily (Michigan)
At the end of the day this guy is a rich Oxford grad, just like every other member of the British elite. His genetic material originating from another continent is immaterial to the effects his leadership is going to have on the working class people of the UK.
Jack (Gotham)
Imagine if Obama's candidacy and election produced only 3 or so articles by this and several other papers AND none of it mention the symbolism in electing the first minority President and instead criticize his wealth.
KSNYC (NY)
Knee jerk reactions from commenters complaining about envy and wealth-hating. These entirely miss the point that going forward, every contract between Infosys and the UK government has to be transparent and whether guardrails exist to prevent self-dealing. Such guard rails obviously don't exist here in the US from what we saw with DJT. Hopefully they do in better governed countries.
John Roosevelt (NYC)
Since Sunak became Prime Minister the NYT has run several critical pieces, mostly focused on his wealth and former jobs with Goldman Sachs and hedge funds I guarantee you that if Sunak was a Labour prime minister they would have run several articles celebrating the fact that a British Asian became Prime Minister
Alexis it Doesn’t Have To End (Bunkhars)
The conventional thinking goes that there is no reason for graft and embezzlement by a politician who already has literally billions of rooupies and pounds to his (and his loved ones) name.
MS (Virginia)
This is pure wealth voyeurism for no other purpose.
Carl N. (Los Angeles, CA)
$460K swimming pool?! Now that in itself is absurd. I’m gonna throw up now. Blaaah! Ever since Rishi Sunak became PM, he has been attacked by sharks in the English channel because he is ultra wealthy, married a rich woman, colored, very educated/smart, young and has good looks.
vishmael (madison, wi)
@Carl N. - How many private swimming pools are enjoyed by the royal family? At what expense to the nation and those excluded from such waters?
East Bat (New York)
So what? Why can’t you just embrace the one who’s just picked? What are you guys gonna do? Pick another one after a month again?
CT Resident (CT)
If Brits have problems with Sunak, they will let them know. Through their votes.
M (PA)
Considering the British people don't vote for PM how will that work? Voting out the party? Don't count on it.
Hal's Friend (Canada)
@CT Resident the next election isn't scheduled to 2025
sc (va)
@M We also don't exactly vote for president. The electoral college does.
Goronwy (Sydney Australia)
Why does everyone seem to assume there is something wrong with outsourcing IT contracts by government and business. The contracting parties do not do this as charity, they do it because it saves them money. Those savings can in turn be used to add extra services in the case of government or free up more money to invest in the case of business. Globalisation helps nearly everyone, particularly the lower paid.
KSNYC (NY)
We have a few Rust Belt friends you'd want to meet.
James (Colorado)
There wasn’t any issue pointed out with outsourcing jobs. The issue is that the Sinai family profits off of job outsourcing, but turn around and tell the British public that they don’t think we should be outsourcing labor. The issue isn’t with outsourcing labor, the issue is that Sunday’s positions seem political and hypocritical.
False Profit (Raleigh, NC)
Infosys is a model company and the fines they paid were to make nuisance lawsuits go away. It and its founders are paragons of probity. Sunak's father in law founded the company with his savings and built it into one of the world's largest IT firms by charging his clients a fair price, paying his employees generously, and treating his shareholders well. Everyone has done well. Sunak has nothing to hide from.
Madge (NE)
Coverage of new UK PM and his money are offering a welcome break from media obsessing about Musk, Thiel, and the rest of America’s self-styled oligarchs. I’d just wish stories about Mr. Sunak were less about his family’s fortune and more about the dreadful austerity policies he and his party want to inflict on the British public.
Cromwell (NYC)
@Madge. " dreadful austerity policies he and his party want to inflict on the . . ." you are aware that UK, Europe as a whole, and throw the US in the mix is on verge of financial collapse due to rampant and absurd spending?
rpmars (Chicago)
I really could care less about his wealth, his education, his marriage, so long as he can get the job done. Period.
j.kappner (vienna)
It’s not true that Britain has no tradition of having ultrawealthy prime ministers. In fact some of them have been extremely rich landowners like the Earl of Derby, the Marquess of Salisbury, the Marquess of Rockingham and the Dukes of Devonshire, Newcastle, Grafton, Portland and Wellington. Lords Liverpool, Melbourne, Russell and Palmerston were no paupers either. Arthur Balfour was a millionaire by heritage, Stanley Baldwin was a rich industrialist, and Harold Macmillan was heir to an important publishing business. Historically, there is absolutely no reason why a rich person shouldn’t be PM.
Gwen (Minnesota)
Being ultra wealthy, entitled, and ambitious cuts across all races and cultures. Remember the Gupta brothers who siphoned off billions of dollars from their connections to South Africa’s President Jacob Zuma . Wealth and political ambition often go hand in hand. This bloke was not elected. He was ‘appointed’ by the now notorious Tory Party that has for a long time favored policies like Brexit and anti- immigration that feed off the fears and insecurities of common people, but have brought Britain down economically and in world opinion. They do it just to stay in power. An immigrant who has profited ( immensely) from globalization supports Brexit and anti- immigration? Politics, not true belief. The super wealthy always think they are smarter ( geniuses even), more hard working, pull yourself by your bootstraps types who, like Elon Musk, think they are God’s gift to the world and deserve to rule. Until Britain votes out the Tory Party they will never get back to the ‘ rule by the people’ nor will they ever have a government truly interested in ordinary people and their welfare.
tomorrow (Colorado)
@Gwen That is true to some extent,but not always. Their background, and the way they were brought up all matters. I don't know about the Gupta brothers, but sounds like they were crooks. No one will associate Mr.Murthy with them.He comes from a humble, middle-class background, from a region in India that is known for its mild-mannered simple people. You should read about him more. Also, wealthy doesnt't automatically mean someone has bad values growing up. Sunak's upbringing was also similar, with middle-class immigrants parents, who are typically known to work hard with drive and take nothing for granted. Even if a 1000 guilty go free, do not castigate an innocent person before you can prove his guilt.
ZecaRioca (GB)
Let’s get the story straight. Globalization became a world order and Clinton was the U.S. President at the time. At the same time there was limits on immigration. That created an opportunity for companies like Infosys. We have to be honest that globalization has been the greatest wealth equalizer between nations the world has ever seen. However, when countries like the U.S. put strict limits on immigration for racists or economic reasons, it creates opportunities for companies like Infosys and demagogues and racists like Trump.
ann (Seattle)
@ZecaRioca In contrast to the immigration policies of many western countries, the U.S. gives preference to the applicants who are members of extended families of those who are already living here over the applicants who have the education and skills to advance our economy. Canada reserves two thirds of its annual immigration spaces for applicants whose advanced education and unique skills would benefit the Canadian economy and who are fluent in English and/or French. We do the east opposite by reserving two thirds of our spaces for applicants like aunts and uncles and other relatives of someone who already lives here. We do not consider the relatives’ level of education, skills, or English fluency. This has allowed large numbers of people with very little education to legally come here from Mexico and Central America, and has turned away highly educated and skilled, English speaking applicants. If most migrants were fluent in English and brought unique skills that helped our economy, then their ethnicities and religions would be of little concern.
GP (PA)
Try looking at what Reagan did to the tariffs that we had for most of our history. It was around 87 when a trade deal with Canada was schemed and GATT was enacted. It was HW that put most of NAFTA together, which Clinton and the GOP loved. It's a little more complicated than blaming the corporate Democrat Clinton.
Nara (NJ)
This paper's obsession with race is sometimes tiresome. I am a Hindu from India and if I was a UK voter, I would have voted for the Labor party. I know there are enough Asians (Sorry Ronny Chieng ) in Britain who voted for Boris Johnson and are pretty disappointed that he decided not to contest for the Conservative party leadership this time. Trump won enough Latinos and Blacks defying all the left pundits.
sub (chicago)
@Nara , the main point of the article is about Rishi having a double standard - benefitting from the same thing he is trying to criticize to look popular (immigration). It has nothing to do with being a Hindu. The comparison to Trump is interesting since it Mr. Trump is ideologically the same as Rishi in many ways than we can count on our ten fingers! Nothing to do with race.
Will Robinson (Leeds, UK)
I agree. It’s fascinating looking at how others view us. Trevor Noah’s speech the other night is typical of this. No-one (bar an extreme racist minority) could care about Sunak’s background or race. “Class” is a much more of an issue in the UK and unfortunately the incoming austerity measures will have a desperate effect on such a huge amount of the population. This Conservative government cares only for their survival - no matter their race or religion.
vishmael (madison, wi)
Press will need new euphemism or words to describe Sunak's racial categorization, here noted as person "of color" though most likely still fully Caucasian, no?
Adam (Brooklyn, NY)
I'm pretty sure the #2 headline about Mr. Sunak in the NYTimes just three days ago was that he is the first person of color to lead the British government. I'm not here to make judgements about the wealth he married into or how it may influence his leadership, but I would like to take a moment to point out that this story is inherently more interesting than the color of his skin. Not to mention that the actually interesting thing about his skin color is that he is Indian, and I hear that that country used to be subjugated by Britain. Can we please stop obsessing about identity? Thank you, Most people
DP (Atlanta)
The rich gonna rich. And the working class will vote for them thinking that the riches will somehow rain down upon them. Did the monarcy ever leave or just evolve?
What Is This (Gotham)
Evolve? I prefer “mutate.”
GS (San Francisco)
I don't have any problem with most of this article. He deserves scrutiny for being a wealthy, tax-dodging, out of touch conservative politician. But "secretive fortune"? He owns a substantial interest in one of the most prominent technology companies in India. What is secretive about it? That's it's an Indian company? What $80 billion company hasn't settled a few government investigations? The Times is better than this kind of click bait.
Indy970 (US)
It's already been established Sunak is the epitome of well-bred, well-read, and well-wed. Unless there are legal or ethical infractions, of which this article shows none, the real question is whether he is the right PM for the UK at this time.
Bohemian Sarah (Footloose in Eastern Europe)
Actually, it raises a rather stunning ethical question as their huge, secret government contract was signed whilst he was serving in government.
tomorrow (Colorado)
@Bohemian Sarah Nope. He was a member of Parliament when the deal was signed by the government. He was in the government towards later term of the contract.
Paul (CA & FL (huh?))
Cameron, May, Johnson, Truss, Sunak. Looks to me like progress is finally being made by the Tory-ites, regardless of personal finances of each.
Sam (Houston Now Elsewhere)
Jon Kerry married Teresa Heinz Kerry. She is worth $750 million the same amount as Rishi Sunak's wife. Nobody said anything about that when he ran for President or when he was Secretary of State. I think the difference between Kerry and Sunak is obvious and is just skin deep... #doublestandard
Stan Continople (brooklyn)
@Sam If you listened o the right people, you would have heard an outcry; it's just that the corporate media failed to pursue the ramifications. Kerry was and is the embodiment of a callous neoliberal.
Bohemian Sarah (Footloose in Eastern Europe)
Hardly. Heinz never won a ginormous outsourcing contract destroying thousands of UK jobs whilst Kerry served in the Cabinet. This is called whataboutism and I am saddened to see the Tories peddling it in a Stateside paper, albeit a prominent one. Moderators? Seeing any brigading?
La Belle Americaine (USA)
@Sam Heinz wasn't accused of stealing American jobs and holding a lucrative, undisclosed government contract.
AKA (Nashville)
Sunak is a bureaucrat that is designed to get the job done. He is married to an outsourcing family that is also involved in getting the job done. Owners at Infosys are not innovators in the strictest sense, they are matching qualified people to global job opportunities---welcome to the new world order. Sunak is married to one such families, and he himself is a bureaucrat that gets the job done---welcome to another world order.
P (Can)
Churchill, a much admired PM, believed in the supremacy of the Anglo Saxon race and that Indians were not fit to govern themselves (yet Britain had the right not to be ruled by Nazis, who thought they were a superior race). But let’s find everything we can to criticize this PM, who has barely taken office.
A (B)
Churchill was born into an aristocratic family at “Blenheim Palace”. Were there the same concerns over privilege, wealth and relatability?
M.Habt (Michigan)
Whether he earned, married into it or lost it, does that have an impact on his ability to do his job as the head of the government? I don’t understand British west minister system to say if a PM can make a great deal of difference, but given how fast they have had turnovers looks like they get a very short leash. I wish the UK to be strong because Putin will only continue to inch towards Europe.
John S (UK)
I am baffled by the Times’ on-going obsession with Rishi Sunak’s wealth. As a UK voter (but not for the Tories) I am actually reassured by Mr Sunak’s successful business career, which indicates financial competence, and by his wife’s own substantial bank balance. Whatever his motives for seeking high political office the one thing you can be sure of is that he’s not doing it for the money.
MPJ (IL)
@John S Salary is not what draws people to governance. It is the never ending gravy train, connections, insider information and the ability to bend and manipulate the rules to protect the wealth that emanates from riding that train. Observe what it costs to run for office here in the U.S. and the willingness of campaigners to prostrate themselves to that system.
GG (New York)
@MPJ Not necessarily. Michael Bloomberg as mayor of New York, the Kennedys and the Roosevelts. The Roosevelts in particular were despised by big business. People with money often seek power to help others, not themselves. But there are those with money who do, as you say, seek power for themselves. The one thing we do know is that "power without money is a bauble," as Alexander Hamilton said. The UK is in deep financial trouble. Let's see if a guy who knows and understands money can save the nation, shall we? -- thegamesmenplay.com
DP (Atlanta)
Most rich people who run for office do it for power. To implement policies that will enhance their access to wealth gor generations to come. I doubt it's from the goodness of his heart.
AKA (Nashville)
Infosys is a white collared company matching qualified CS professionals to opportunities around the globe. India has excess capacity, or more literally people learning trades to meet global shortages and Infosys does outsourced work and places techies everywhere. The problem is over the last tow decades global economy has shifted to software and services and thereby cannot run without additional input from Indian CS labor. America cannot keep up with the industry need for employees. The bigger problem is that techies with some two-four year college are finding jobs and residency in the US; so low have things gone.
tomorrow (Colorado)
I also read a comment about caste in Infosys (from an Indian, no less). I wanted to laugh. I was hired by Infosys (Never took up the offer as I left for higher studies). They had a written test (pretty difficult,but one I enjoyed) and an interview. At no time during the selection process was my caste a factor. Infosys also used to boast(in 2005) one of best treatments of its employees. I didnt hear from any of my friends who worked in Infosys that they discriminated based on people's caste or religion.
Steve Hunter (seattle,wa)
Whether it is Rishi Sunak or numerous other politicians and CEO's their stance is "Do as I say, not as I do". As we have learned over the past several decades laws are for the commoners.
AKA (Nashville)
The only thing secretive about Sunak's fortune is the stealing that happens in the US, through what is called Hedge Funds and Investment Banking; the rest is properly documented and cataloged. Hedge fund and Investment Banking are hatched jobs promoted in US.
Lady Liberty (New York)
Infosys = outsourcing = fewer onshore jobs This shines a light on the hypocrisy and real intentions of Tory Brexiteers like Richi Sunak, whose real goal was to strip the UK of the EU regulations that protect the human rights of the British people, and also asylum seekers and other immigrants. All in the name of “economic growth,” which is really just shorthand for making the rich (including the Tory leadership, their family and friends) richer, and furthering the personal financial, political and social aims of the British plutocracy.
ls (Ohio)
wow, time for a general election in Britain. Find out if people really want this guy. Does he really understand the actual people of the UK or is he in it for himself and the wealthy? Really can't do both. Let the people decide. And give them all the information. Quit hiding your wealth Mr Sunak and Ms Murthy. Be honest.
Jack (Gotham)
Our Speaker of the House is worth over $200M and owns a vineyard in Napa among other things.
Susan (NH)
Statements like this author makes " helping companies REPLACE workers with thousands of Indian immigrants.... are poorly phrased and cause ill will and anger towards immigrants : I say this because in reality USA did not have the man power with the technology skills required, in fact this augmentation of workforce helped US sustain market dominance and technology advancement.
Cathy (London)
I guess that the UK doesn't have regulations in place for 'blind trust' which most US politicians have turned to when they have been voted into office. Rishi Sunak seems to be the one voice of reason during the pandemic. In light of the global reaction to the Truss/Kwartung economic proposal, Mr. Sunak has put himself out on the limb—he has embraced BoJo which at this point in time is a good thing, especially in light of the recent Polls regarding Labour leading by 30%. If Mr. Sunak can work some magic for the country, I think that he proved himself during the pandemic and I would give him a thumbs up. But, he has put Suella Braverman in a spot by appointing her as in charge of Immigration? She wrote in a very divisive manner about a dream of sending Immigrants to Rwanda'. There is a war between the 'haves and have nots' but this country needs to get on track—economically, they are on a par with Italy—I bet that hurts. Thanks, @Jane__Bradley, I am now following you...
Cathy (London)
@Cathy Dagnabit, I meant to say that Rishi DID NOT cow to BoJo---who would? He partied to Slovenia and the Domican Republic---let's hope tjhat he doesn't end up in the US ...like Nick Clegg.
Roger (Crazytown.D.C.)
I suppose the answer is to take a homeless person off the street and get them into 10 Downing Street. There would be no controversies thereafter. Or will there?
GUANNA (New England)
Isn't Infosys is a big users (abusers) of the United State's H1b Visa farce. This system was designed to bring an occasional engineer into the US now they issue thousands at a pop to large corporations.
Ps (To)
Interesting to read all these critical articles about a politician and accusing him of success only because of his privilege and wealth, and the hypocrisy that he cannot relate with people. Sunak grew up as middle or upper middle class, with immigrant parents, who were a doctor and pharmacist. Everything he has achieved is likely because of hard work and intelligence and not because he was born in a manor or palace, with connections since birth.🧠🧠 Privilege and wealth is acceptable as long as you are a Churchill, Johnson, or the royalty. Are they able to relate to the common man? Do they worry about heating their mansions or palaces? Why doesn’t the same standard apply here? Neither Sunak nor his wife have been charged with any criminal activities or breaking tax laws. Trump boasted about not paying taxes and refused to release his tax returns, not disclosing who he does business with, yet millions of Americans voted for him and will vote for him again. Why this overblown criticism of Sunak within 4 days of his taking office? There is nothing different here that does not apply to many politicians (except he is from an immigrant family). He can be legitimately criticized if his policies fail, although tax breaks for the rich is expected if it is passed by Truss or Trump and the like. With Sunak, there is a feeling of “How dare he?”
ann (Seattle)
"But what was undeniable was that Infosys benefited from, and accelerated, the very globalization forces that helped fuel populist campaigns like Brexit.” I thought that the British voted for Brexit mainly because they were fed up with all of the poorly educated Muslims who had moved in, and were declining to assimilate. Even though many of these Muslims had gained admittance by coming from countries which Britain had ruled in the past, the European Union was forcing Britain to accept more migrants rather than let the British decide for themselves how many and which migrants to admit. Many chose to show their anger with the very large influx of poorly educated, self-isolating Muslims by voting against the E.U. Britain’s new immigration system is described in a 5/30/22 BBC news article titled “UK visas: How does the point-based immigration system work?”: "The government has launched a new visa scheme allowing graduates from the world's top universities to come to the UK". "Graduates will be eligible regardless of where they were born and will not need a job offer in order to apply." "Most other people wanting to come to live and work in the UK have to apply via a points-based system." No country wants to be inundated with poorly educated migrants who have little desire or ability to assimilate.
Joan (formerly NYC)
@ann "I thought that the British voted for Brexit mainly because they were fed up with all of the poorly educated Muslims who had moved in, and were declining to assimilate." Your information is incorrect. The immigrants from the EU were workers from European countries, not former colonies.
Ro Mo (Eugene, Oregon)
If the Conservative Party’s electoral sweep in 2019 is the overarching “circus tent,” why should we be surprised that there are three rings within it?
William Harris (West Coast)
i don't see anything positive happening for not-so-great britain. destroyed by the corruption conservative culture that wrecked their entire future for the next couple of generations.
Sour Grapes (Earth)
Show me a wealthy NRI (non-resident Indian) and I will show you someone who loves to point at the poor people in their adopted country and tell them it's their own fault for not being better at math.
Chris (Seattle)
The Brits have voted for these conservatives for years, so enjoy the fruits of your voting choices.
Lambert (Europe)
The entire article reeks of envy and innuendo. His wife's family admirably made their fortune honestly and from nothing. His money, small beer in comparison, was made by being smart, with no inkling of immorality or dishonesty. What's the problem? - oh, he's wealthy.
Shah (Khan)
#RishiSunak dealing with same problems #LizTruss deal with conservative ie his party members will not increasing tax on the rich.
Joe B. (Center City)
Huge surprise that Richie rich dude cheats on his taxes. Not.
Dasam (Princeton, NJ)
This article is a hit job on a hard working person coming from middle class to reach his pinnacle as UK PM. Thankfully, the Left Liberal slant of this article left out him being a staunch practicing Hindu. The burn here is “how can a brown person through sheer determination make money and also triumph to reach high office”. Not only he is blasted but his father in law and his company who despite being a billionaire, leads an austere life style, is not spared just by association. Sounds very racist to me from the same group of people who talk about BLM and other such causes.
Cathy (London)
@Dasam I admire Sunak…he may have been Boris' appointee, but, he did ditch the party boy. In America, there is something called 'blind trust' which most politicians will place their wealth into so that it doesn't influence how they vote—but, I know that you know about this. My question is does the UK have such regulation as well?
NB (CA)
NYT - how dare he, “person of color” be better than any white?
Roger (Crazytown.D.C.)
There is always smoke and mirrors. Damned if you do and damned if you don't. Media needs to fill up it's pages with something. Give this bloke 6 months or a year to prove his worth.
Kay Kay (England)
Where is the secretive fortune? $800 millions, the principle wealth comes from Infosys a publicly traded company, listed at NASDAQ and Indian bourses. This company is often times cited being vanguard for accounting standards. Mr Narayana Murthy built this company from ground zero, and their family have been founding shareholders. Remaining $45 millions comes from Rishi Sunak's investment banking, Goldman Sachs tenure or investments. The family might have used tax loopholes but they never hidden their wealth in Swiss lockers or Jersey accounts. Outsourcing is not a secretive operation. Capitalism of this century thrived on this, making both China and India richer ensuing west poorer ever since.
kp (waterloo)
@Kay Kay Until the last line you were right , don’t say west is poorer but west (especially N America) created bigger inequality by cutting taxes to rich , reducing help for the less fortunate ! If poverty is measured only measured accordingly by money then west is way richer than 40 years ago!
Kay Kay (England)
@kp Thanks for sharing your feedback and comments. I see increasing number of rough sleeps and beggars (sorry no offence) even in the richest streets - Bishopsgate or Fenchurch street in City of London. Our side tube stations, I see more beggars asking for various things or simply placing placard "I haven't eaten since..". Many of them are not immigrants. If I recall, NYT once quoted 11% of Californians live in poverty - unsure of next meal. This is the richest state in USA. In England and rest of the nations, food theft is now a common phenomena. Nearly 50% of school people survive on free school dinners and parent(s) are scared of school term breaks. This phenomena is permeating entire Europe. This poverty is invisible unlike the one we witness in Mumbai or Delhi. Meanwhile, what is happening in east? China pulled out staggering 250 millions out of poverty. India overtook Britain becoming 5th largest economy. No one dreamt such a turn in fortunes just under 3 decades ago. No doubt USA, EU and UK are still wealthy nations with ultrarich individuals or families. This represents 1%. Disparity is huge. We need leaders of compassion. The is the true challenge of todays' democracies. Elon Musk may use his personal cash to buy Twitter, however the truth is many millions cannot effort Twix, a famous candy.
AJ (Here)
A lot of hand-wringing, nudges and innuendo, but all the article ended up doing is showing that Sunak's story is what every parent wishes for their kid. His parents, hardworking professionals themselves, gave him an upper-middle starting point in life. And Sunak used that platform to soar to new heights. That's a success story, not a failure, for the family.
tomorrow (Colorado)
I am surprised you hvent extended to the Sunaks the same courtesy you extended to even Bezos and Trump. Publishing their take. Akshata Murty herself said something to the tune of she pays UK taxes on UKincome, and not on her Indian income as she is an Indian citizen. That same article mentioned she is understood to pay Indian taxes on the same (dividend income from the company founded by herfather,one of the topmost Indian companies, by any benchmark). That did not sound to me as greed. She has now pledged to pay extra taxes to the UK. Instead you only go with part of her statement, not wanting it to be a distraction for her husband. Secondly, Sunak himself addressed his father-in-law's wealth during the campaign this summer, of how he built his company from scratch with six otherengineers,from his wife'ssavings of 10,000 Rs (100 pounds) in 1981. It is an inspiring story forIndians. AndMr. Murthy is not your typicalgreedy businessman, not by any yardstick. There are many different cultures and countries in this world, try tounderstand them a little better before reporting on them, especially the people whom you imply are committing some wrong-doing, with no meaningful version of their side of the story, and ascription of potential motives.
Rajashekhar Patre (Bangalore, India)
Wealth never should be a criteria in judging a person to the highest political office. Rishy Sunak is highly educated in the universities of Oxford and Stanford in America. He is eminently qualified for the job. The wealth came to him by marrying a billionaire,s daughter from India. He has just started his job and he should be followed to function and then judge him for his work. His selection is another indicator that race is not an issue for holding offices in Great Britain but merit is indeed recognised.Although Winston Churchill once said that Indians are unfit to rule themselves and did mention that India will run chaos and instability. It is indeed ironic in the 75th year of Indian independence an Indian origin man has taken the helms of United Kingdom. India has become the fourth largest economy in the world taking over the place Britain. Many Indians hold the highest office particularly in the technology world. Yes India has come a long way. I have no doubt that Rishy Sunak will bring glory to the land of his birth as well as to his ancestral land, India
Mask Of Comedy/Tragedy (Northeast)
Many commenters are misinterpreting the article. The issue is not wealth per se but hypocrisy. Claiming to want to protect jobs when most of your wealth is due to outsourcing of jobs is hypocritical.
Roger (Crazytown.D.C.)
You are assuming something. May not be
John-Eric Bigbie (Paris)
You might equally want to write about the son of two people of moderate means, who immigrated to the UK, who by dint of hard work and innate genius succeeded. Your story is unnecessarily and sadly slanted.
Clearwater (Oregon)
You think these people get rich by helping people? At least on purpose? They get rich because they help themselves. And now throughout the world they are telling us how they'll govern us. Trump, Putin, this dude. Yeah, I don't think this man is the banal evil the former are but he's an executive that will treat us like he's a CEO. He'll triage any limb he feels a waste.
tomorrow (Colorado)
I am surprised you don't even accord the Sunaks the courtesy you well extended to Trump and Jeff Bezos. Giving their quotes a place in this article. Akshata Murty said something to the tune of she pays UK taxes on UK income only as she is an Indian citizen. The same article said she pays Indian taxes on her Indian income (which is entirely from her father's company, and one of the top Indian companies by any yardstick). So is it because she loves her money too much? You should report the whole thing, and not in this shoddy way. Sunak himself addressed his father-in-law's wealth during his campaign saying how he had only 10,000 Rs (100pounds) when he started the company with his fellow engineers and built it from scratch. You also say Infosys denied multiple requests for comment. Also, Mr.Murthy is not your average greedy businessman. Everyone in India knows and respects him. He is even said to have decided his son will not work at Infosys (after a year) so that there will be no charges of nepotism.
Ethan Allen (Vermont)
Rishi Sunak backed the Brexit vote, and remains one of its biggest supporters. British people voted for Brexit because they were told it would limit immigration and bring about a “high wage economy” for British workers. InfoSys makes its money from shipping high-paying jobs offshore or bringing in cheap foreign workers to replace costly native employees (to boost corporate profits). It also undermines domestic training and skills development in the process. Their existence is the antithesis of everything most British people believe in, Brexiteers especially so. Yet Sunak’s immense wealth, and his political base, depend on him backing InfoSys over Britain every time. Just watch as he ‘levels up’ his bank balance time and again over the next couple of years….
kp (waterloo)
@Ethan Allen I live in N America and have working children it doesn’t mean that there are enough labour for every job we have required now. We can ignore filling them but industry and government have found out that there are enough reasons to use labour from outside (we won’t even have food otherwise)! Yes globalization has its side effects as others and one of the side affects in our democraZies are rich people buying our politicians to not pay their share to improve life here and even convincing half the population to vote for such crazy policies! Wake up and learn!
Greg (Philadelphia)
Conservative leaders in America in abroad have have only one interest - enriching the wealthy and entrenching their power. Their only plan is to stoke enough fear and anger to make people vote for them so they can cut taxes for the billionaires, as they view anyone but the upper class as disposable. It doesn’t matter how much chaos or panic they create with lies, what matters is they convince people they have zero interest in helping to vote for them. The top 1% rages over the rise of the middle class and liberal governments that get in the way of them having total power and limitless wealth. So they steal and abuse, and then they lie to the people they’ve abused and distort their opponents to maintain control. They, like Trump, want to be kings. They miss colonialism. They despise the middle class and especially the lower class “bottom feeders”. Morality to them is selfishness distorted as “job creation”. The scariest part is the only way to stop them is to get the people they lie to and brainwash to see the truth, and for the 99% to join together to stop them.
Terry Roberts (Brookings, Oregon)
@Greg On the other hand, what is in it for us crazy liberals whom THEY stoke fear of? Oh, that's right, we're crazy. Crazy notions of a capitalism that works for all.
RI (NY)
The overdone focus on his wife’s inheritance is really disturbing. He gave up a well paying job at Goldman Sachs to run for mp in 2005. Not that many bankers will do that. His wife’s inheritance that built a company in india. I am unaware of any wrongdoing by her or the company.
Karen (San Francisco)
RI in NY wrote " I am unaware of any wrongdoing by her or the company.". I am wondering if he read the article.
Kevinlarson (Ottawa Canada)
@ RI He did so to acquire more political power to allow billionaires and their henchmen (lawyers, accountants, financial advisors etc.) to continue their rapacious greed and the inequality that necessarily follows.
Charles (Lisbon, Portugal)
@RI did you not read the story? But the company’s rise was marked by whistle-blower complaints, congressional hearings and lawsuits. In 2013, the company paid a record $34 million to settle a Justice Department lawsuit alleging years of “systemic visa fraud.” In 2019, the company settled a tax and immigration investigation by the state of California.
Hydraulic Engineer (Seattle)
These revelations show why the economy is structured as it is, funneling wealth higher up to fewer people. Sure, they spread around some wealth to the lucky poor in developing countries, but at the expense of the middle and working classes in developed countries like the US and Great Britain. I grew up in the Detroit area, the heart of America's rust belt, and have seen it first hand. The problem is the logic of capitalism undermines the interest of many in the developed countries where it was "perfected'. That logic is to chase the cheapest labor, the least taxes, the least regulations in perpetual pursuit of growth and profits. Otherwise, it does not work. So, as the very wealthy and corporate interests gain more control over government agencies, often writing their regulations and determining who will get campaign funding needed to win elections, they find it increasingly more difficult to convince those in the working and middle classes that their interests are a priority. In democracies, and in dictatorships, it becomes vital to find another way to create enough public support to keep wealthy interests in power. And this is why today we see most of the world's populations encouraged to fight each other over wedge issues like religion, abortion, guns, LGBTQ, Q-Anon, election "fraud", Brexit, etc. The powers that be will do anything to divert public attention from such boring things as outsourcing, tax law, insurance law, homelessness and wealth disparity.
signmeup (NYC)
@Hydraulic Engineer But don' the crumbs "trickle down" to the slightly less wealthy?
Anny O. (chicago il)
3. The in/outsourcing of US IT jobs to Indian workers is a matter of controversy, whether is it bad or good for the economy. Experts are fighting about there for over 20 years already (e.g. Peri vs. Borjas). Politicians are in favor when talking to tech co.'s, which helps their re-election fund. Come voting time they are against. Who suffers from this ? Probably a number of not-hired and fired IT/tech-workers. But also a by now rather large group of Indian women who are allowed into the US on a non-immigrant H-4 visa. They are not allowed to work or to (meaningful) volunteer. They see their life rot away one day at a time. (Yes, I am one of them.) 4. If workers are needed, bring them in on Green Cards. Then the visa mis-use, the lower wage competition, the abuse of the workers, the horrors of the H-4 visa, it all goes away. Let's see how well Infosys matches people with jobs if the playing field is leveled.
Anny O. (chicago il)
@Hydraulic Engineer 3. The in/outsourcing of US IT jobs to Indian workers is a matter of controversy, whether is it bad or good for the economy. Experts are fighting about there for over 20 years already (e.g. Peri vs. Borjas). Politicians are in favor when talking to tech co.'s, which helps their re-election fund. Come voting time they are against. Who suffers from this ? Probably a number of not-hired and fired IT/tech-workers. But also a by now rather large group of Indian women who are allowed into the US on a non-immigrant H-4 visa. They are not allowed to work or to (meaningful) volunteer. They see their life rot away one day at a time. (Yes, I am one of them.) 4. If workers are needed, bring them in on Green Cards. Then the visa mis-use, the lower wage competition, the abuse of the workers, the horrors of the H-4 visa, it all goes away. Let's see how well Infosys matches people with jobs if the playing field is leveled.
GJW (Rocky Mountains)
Well I think it’s definitely time to prohibit any more Infosys contracts with the British government. Period.
Ps (To)
Yes, like Trump and his family businesses benefiting from his office.
DM (Tampa)
Just how secretive his fortune, most of it from Infosys, can be when Infosys has been on NYSE for close to 25 years. When it comes to corporate fines, it may also be worth looking into how many billions JPMorgan Chase has shelled out under the stewardship of seemingly upstanding Jamie Dimon. Infosys fines are puny in comparison. However, the way he made so many millions working in hedge funds makes it very difficult, if not impossible, for him to feel for common family's problems. A couple of missteps there, no matter how innocent, could turn out to be showstopper. Also, he and his family need to compensate for the tax money they made by playing that domicile game. Makes any pain he would need to dish out ten times worse.
QuakerJohn (Washington State)
Yes, and could someone please tell us how much Mr. Sunak and Ms. Murty do pay in taxes? Maybe how much they've paid for the last say ten years? Seems they could have easily left the UK if they wanted to reduce their tax bill, but clearly they haven't. And you could add in how much they've contributed to charitable causes as well. Lets consider the whole picture here.
SB (Sacramento)
It is true that if you haven’t felt hunger pangs, cold shivers, or slept on a gritty mattress in noisy low income housing, you will not know what poverty is. However, the poor are so preoccupied with making ends meet that they are disengaged from the political shaping of their country.They don’t even vote to secure their interests-look at the American South.
arvay (new york)
This looks like replacing Donald J. Trump with Elon Musk. Rather than a Monty Python PM, or a mere advocate for the rich, like Thatcher, British conservatives have put an actual mega-rich executive in charge of the pro-business mission. One supposes the oligarchical class has tired of the declining competence of the help.
Sam C (Denver)
Can I be honest from an outside perspective? I notice there is a lot of talk about the new Prime Minister's wealth and the source of it and often presented in a concerned fashion. Specifically, on how he will relate to the average Briton. I honestly do not recall that same concern about the new King. Is that typical in the UK? It leaves one to wonder if the concern about the "average Briton" has more to do with the ethnicity of the new PM.
Aileen (Uk)
@Sam C The king has no political power so cannot influence any laws
Sam C (Denver)
@Aileen 1) That is definitely not true. You might mean he has no statutory powers, which is also not true. Who appoints the House of Lords? Who appoints the PM? Who requires regular consultations with the government? 2) That is a non-sequitur. My point is about the reliability of a public leader. I think the monarch, by basic definition, is a public leader.
H (Seattle)
Thanks for saying this. I felt the same when reading the article.
Daedalus (Rochester NY)
How soon people forget that the post of PM has been traditionally held by someone who is not in any position to gauge the plight of working people. In a country where you can't walk in certain circles without bumping into the monarch's eighth cousin once removed from the wrong side of the blanket (trust me, I've done it), the ranks of the political elite have very few members who came up from nothing. The puzzling thing about Mr. Sunak is why, having sampled life in California with wealth, he thought it best to come back to cold, crowded, grubby England. A hidden agenda there, surely.
American Expat (In Asia)
It appears to me to this article on the new British Prime Minister turns over every leaf, looking for that incriminating evidence that he did something unethical, but comes up short. Very short. Why it attempts to do so, in the guise of an in-depth personal biography, is best known to the editors. But no valid journalistic or public interest appears to be served by the piece. Regarding that Indian company, Infosys, its founder, N.R. Narayanamurthy, was the subject of a laudatory article in the UK's Guardian newspaper just a couple of days ago for modest lifestyle, an outlet, it should be noted, that is otherwise doggedly adversarial to Mr. Sunak and the Tories. If we're looking for dirt on Mr. Sunak, there's little to indicate that we'll find much. Structuring personal finances advantageously within the rules of tax law and not paying taxes you don't have to is something everyone does and is not at all unusual or unethical.
Kumar Aiyer (California)
What does the high net worth of a family have to do with allegations of the family not understanding the cost of living and life of a British "Commoner." One could also argue what is good for the goose i.e. the Sunak's is also good for the gander, i.e. "Windsor's." Class barriers are embedded in British Society with knighthood and other titles being bestowed for a long period of time. This piece seems to envy the success of a brown-colored, Hindu family in Britain. Pathetic attempt at that.
Nina (Santa Fe NM)
I'm not sure why we would except top elected leaders to be anything but rich. Probably very rich. Try working full time while raising kids and see if running for office could be in your picture.
Ajay (Cupertino)
There’s nothing secretive about Rishi Sunak’s fortune nor his wife’s. They have made their fortunes through legitimate businesses, and financial investments. Why are people so upset about making money via software and investments? I’ve never seen anyone question Bill Gates’ fortunes as “secretive”. There are racist undertones all over. Folks are upset if people of color come to the countries to work, or if work is given to them abroad. Both are results of a talent shortage. Fix the education systems and produce many more engineers and scientists. We’ll then not be having this conversation.
Lord Krishna (Somewhere in India)
If Trump can become president of the US (and still lead a fanatical base and control the GOP remotely), then Sunak is a paragon of virtues by comparison.
Alan (Coloorado)
I worked in the Telecom industry for 30 years. At first, we were told by management that we're going to implement 'follow the sun' development. Coding would be done here in the US and some testing would be done in India during our evening. And, they wouldn't reduce the US workforce. I took them for their word. Over time, the labor cost savings were just too great. Soon, the majority of the testing was done in India. Then the developers were being 'off-shored'. On occasion, we'd get Indian developers on a visa that meant our company was the only place they could work at for the duration of their visas, at a third less than American workers were paid. I saw many friends and colleagues get pushed out the door over the years. I never had any hostility to my Indian colleagues but this is how you dismantle an industry with good paying jobs and send them over to another country. The same is true with manufacturing jobs, most were sent to China. I guess if you're a 'Free Market' advocate, this is how things have always worked. The US, at inception, took jobs from the UK, etc. But I think the government should have slowed the transition a bit. Infosys is just leveraging an opportunity though Mr. Sunak appears to be not too proud their role, which tells you something.
mmph (Winter Garden FL)
How convenient for the very wealthy, having the ability to be elected (or instrumental in electing the appropriate candidates), in order to write the rules that allow the conclusion of investigations into their tax avoidance schemes, to reach the conclusion that what they did was within the law.
X (Y)
Yes, like Trump, Mnuchin, Kushner, and other republicans and the lobbying of billionaires.
Joseph (Portsmouth, Virginia)
For a number of reasons, paramount of which is that I am not British, I really cannot comment on England's politics and believe only they can. However, it would appear that it is much easier, as witnessed in recent history, to remove a prime minister when he or she does not have the confidence of the people without referring to their personal or extended familiar fortunes. So, let's see what he gets done before judging his sensitivity to the plight of the average Briton which, for all I know, might be considerable. They'll get rid of him quickly enough if he drops the ball.
Anne Dodge-Schwanz (San Diego)
@Joseph Well said! I follow the politics of England, but I don't live there, so I can't really comment.
Hank (Idaho)
If the owning of a $ 8,000,000.00 townhouse in London, an apartment in Kensington, a Penthouse in Santa Monic and a $ 2.3 million dollar home in Yorkshire, is not enough to convince you that Sunak has no idea what the average Briton is facing this Winter, then add on the building of a swimming pool a cost of $ 460,000, one can only wonder how he will be able to afford to heat the water in the pool but he will manage somehow, while millions find themselves unable to pay for their energy bill.
Elaine (Not the sunken place)
@Hank Well, there is a video of him floating around where he admits he has no 'working class' friends, so....one has to ask why working class people support people like him and trump. Gaslighting? BTW, I tried to order something from British Essentials website this week. Along with the delivery charge is a $20 fuel surcharge plus import fees.
AJ (Falklands area)
@Hank Agreed. Sort of like saying how can a judge fairly rule if he/she's not been the victim or perpetrator of a crime? How indeed. Cap the wealth of people permitted to run for public office. Also cap any family ties that might have helped them on the academic, professional, social front. Perhaps also cap physical attributes - the too good looking, too athletic, etc., need not run. Many more caps to consider.
Elaine (Not the sunken place)
@Hank Well, there is a video of him floating around where he admits he has no 'working class' friends, so....one has to ask why working class people support people like him and trump. Gaslighting?
Rahul Dixit (Florida)
Liberal John Kerry married into Heinz fortune and Conservative Sunak into Infosys. The narrative with Kerry would always mention their fortune belonging to his wife. Times and other leftist news outlet like Guardian and Independent are being disingenuous by not using the same yardstick with Conservative Sunak.
D Thomas (San Diego)
@Rahul Dixit Being actually active in outsourcing jobs, taking tech jobs away from the UK isn't the same as selling ketchup, is it?
Scott Cole (Talent, OR)
Having, or marrying into money isn’t necessarily the issue. It’s the hypocrisy—like Trump wanting to bring back manufacturing when he had his stuff made in China.
Elaine (Not the sunken place)
@Rahul Dixit Isnt the greater point here the hypocrisy in his parties stance on immigration, given how his family makes money? Ketchup isnt that controversial is it?
hello (somewhereintheworld)
that para on owning so much real estate and him saying he doesn't have any "working class" (gasp! a real prerequisite for anyone in public service) friends was telling. a self-made man of color who just married into money - the English simply can't wrap their heads around it. let him get on with his job and then go to the hustings.
abc (ny)
but selfmade. his parents paid for his education and his first apartment!
M (Boston)
All the articles I read about Mr. Sunak seem to come from a white liberal's point of view. Implicit in all of this is a condescension that if you're a "real" minority, you could never be a conservative. Perhaps ask people of color how they feel about him? Rather than project white liberal guilt onto him? Because these critiques are starting to border on racist for me - they smack of ungrateful, hypocritical brown man, something I used to expect from conservatives, not liberals.
Elaine (Not the sunken place)
@M Maybe for liberals and/or POCs its more about his politics than who he is. I expect he's not much loved among them especially given his party's stance on immigration. I'm thinking for instance about what they did to the windrush generation.
Mariquis (Oakland, Ca)
@M It’s about economics, not color. Even brown people don’t care about color when you are so rich and out of touch with a regular person. And have married into a family that has a history of questionable labor practices.
Joan (formerly NYC)
@M You are transposing American racial ideas and behavior onto British culture. They do not align. "liberal" and "conservative" do not have the same meaning here as they do in the US.
Swamp Yankee (Haddam Neck CT)
In Britain being richer than the King seems to be wicked cool. The real test of his coolness will be what he does now. Complaining before he does anything seems fatalistic. Give him a chance to prove how smart he really is. It would be very hard to out-perform the clown with a haystack for a hairdo. Royalty promoted the myth of the "divine right" of kings. If you swallow that kind of claptrap, who knows where this can go. The only thing that will matter is how he performs. I'm betting he will be successful AND look great while he's doing it! Now that's royalty!
LB (Watertown MA)
@Swamp Yankee “Richer than the Royal Family “? I do not think so! MAybe in terms of Charles official income. But the King is possessor of one of the most valuable private art collections plus several castles, palaces etc. Anyway, Rishi deserves a chance. At least he does not seem to be an ideologue like the previous two.
When Sonia Gandhi came with up a thumping majority in the Indian election of 2004 there was tremendous opposition on her becoming Prime Minister. An important leader of the opposition threatened to shave her head. She finally did not accept the role. Sunak's mother-in-law was supposed to have exclaimed in a dinner table converstion in their home (attended by family friends) that they would have to leave this country if Sonia becomes Prime minister. This families values seems to be of the typical careerist, who can twist and turn in any way to get their ambitions fulfilled.
SB (Sacramento)
There is a crucial difference-Sunak is an all-around Brit by birth, while Sonia Gandhi was not. She was married into a powerful but corrupt political dynastic family.
@NRM (OR)
@[email protected] Sonia Gandhi was not born in India and grew up in Italy till she married into the Nehru-Gandhi family in her 20s. Just as in USA, the president is required to be born in USA. Rishi Sunak was born in Britain and grew up there. Your comparison is not fair
wow (CA)
@[email protected] wow! That totally unverifiable anecdote is some detective work. Let's ignore the evidence that the Murthys had a cordial relationship with Sonia Gandhi (just do a google search). But if anecdotes shape your opinions, this one might say a lot more: https://www.outlookindia.com/website/story/sudha-murty/300466
Matthew (Avalon)
“Unlike the United States, which put a Kennedy, a Trump and a pair of Roosevelts in the White House, Britain does not have a history of ultrawealthy prime ministers.” Winston Churchill, line 2. Alec Douglas-Home, line 3. Margaret Thatcher, line 4.
Liddy (Pittsburgh, PA)
@Matthew Exactly this. I came here to note that Churchill was born in Blenheim Palace, for goodness sake!
RAC (Florida)
He's like most wealthy businessmen who go into politics, a hypocrite. Says one thing and does another. If he wanted to save jobs he wouldn't be outsourcing. Same goes for corporations in the US. Globalization has become the worst thing to happen to the average citizen of all developed nations and probably for the developing. They are being exploited for cheap labor and the consumer nations are paying a price worse than paying more for items manufactured in their own countries.
Sandstorm (Vancouver, Canada)
@RAC Economic growth has made poor nations grow richer. And it was colonialism that made Asia and Africa poor. Britain's wealth was obtained by looting Asia and Africa. Remember, Asia was wealthy once. That is why Columbus was looking for India.
John (Hartford)
Britain doesn't have a history of very rich PM's relative to the wealth of their fellow citizens? Really? Lord Derby, Gladstone, Lord Roseberry, Lord Salisbury, A. J. Balfour, Asquith, Baldwin, Chamberlain, Churchill, Macmillan, Lord Home, Thatcher?
larry abbott (gardner,ma)
Yes, he will be cutting spending--he'll cut $10,000 off his $460,000 pool
Abhinav (India)
V amazing information and reading. Facts are disclosed people are smart these days ppl dont stay v long in no 10 house however this lad is resilient abd fox smart. Am hopeful he will steer the nation in right direction as he is pretty young. Kwy agenda entails National security, health, education, brexit, post corona impact, current economic slowdown, russia ukraine and general stuff happening in house pertaining to taxation etc. He has a lot on his plate. He lost he came again he is a survivor hope uk prospers with him am v keen to see this.
Progressive in Ohio (Ohio)
Maybe it’s just me, but I have a hard time respecting anyone who gets rich because they were given the keys to a select, secret club where vast fortunes are made by shifting money around (hedge fund managers), most likely at the expense of screwing over the actual workers. Then, to add insult to injury, the rest of his money comes from marriage…to a woman whose family was responsible for so much offshoring good jobs out of America and Britain. It’s hard for me to see how this is the solution to our vast problems.
X (Y)
Is that why Americans elected Trump and may elect him again and buy his lies? Privileged conman who understands and cares about the poor and the poorly educated?
Brian (San Francisco)
Three days into the job and the tear down begins! Why judge the man on his merits when you can attack him for having money? Disappointed that this is the tact the NYT is taking.
D Thomas (San Diego)
@Brian Why? Because the rubber just hit the road. The Robber Baron/job exporter/seretive hedge fund manager is now in charge of a Party that makes a very big deal about immigrants, while good jobs are being sent out of the country your local people are hurting. You can't see the hypocrisy? Do as I say, not as I do?
Andrew (New Jersey)
The word is “tack”. The fact that he has money is not a problem. The fact that he makes money off of the UK government is.
V (Canada)
Guy has barely started his tenure as PM. The wolves are already hounding him about his “immense” wealth and “privileged” background. Your disgust for wealth and at the same time living in the G7 World is hypocritical, to say the least.
Ibn Battuta (At Large)
Could some one explain to what exactly a hedge fund manager does besides move money around. How is it not a fancy version of three card monte? And what does it take to be extremely good at it? Sunak's parents were a doctor and a pharmacist. His father in law is an IT expert. All three professions actually entail doing something productive. Hedge fund manager? I would love an explanation. Jonas Salk did not end up as a wealthy toff after discovering the polio vaccine. I am sure the scientists who invented the laser ended up being well off, but wealthy like this? I doubt it. Why do we allow this parasitic profession to have so much power? If ever a job needed eliminating or "outsourcing" to computers, this would be it.
Whatever (NH)
@Ibn Battuta What does a politician do, except move other people's money around? Being a hedge fund manager seems like the perfect prior experience.
Almuth (Wi)
@Whatever Love the simple truth
Hugh Massengill (Oregon)
Infosys indeed. Skynet, thy name is corporate power, and the robot that it is, inhuman as it is, it will grind us all into the dirt as it finds ways to first get robots to build stuff, and then find the cheapest labor in the world that will work for peanuts in order to survive. And the people who suffer when their jobs go to wherever...they are irrelevant, for corporate skynet has no democracy at its heart, it has no connection to legislative power or judicial overview...it is about its business, taking from the poor and giving to the rich. That is what has been happening to America, and the fact that skynet needed Brexit to weaken the European Union, well, that can only mean that they are next to feel the power of living at the whim of the oligarchy of the 1%.
CT Resident (CT)
I don’t care if he is wealthy or what family connections he has and where. He has been chosen to fix the broken economy. If he does that, i will praise him for the job. I would rather have a wealthy elite who knows his job than a populist activist who can do nothing better than identity peddling, false promises and sloganeering. Choice of Liz Truss have shown us what happens when one prioritizes race and populism over talent while choosing the leader.
Jean Aaron (NYC)
Please write the article that outlines this couple's endeavors in charitable contributions: giving back to the world. This is the measure of a person, in my estimation.
Citroen (Montreal)
@Jean Aaron That is a touch naive. The Koc brothers, the Sacklers and Jeffrey Epstein (the list goes on) are/were known for their philanthropy.
Paul (NYC)
Don't disqualify talented people because of their wealth or the jobs that allowed them to become wealthy. Don't disqualify talented people whose families are wealthy. Otherwise, the talent pool for government officials will be limited. DO REQUIRE full disclosure of their possible conflicts of interest in order to make them accountable and prohibit them from involvement in deals which benefit them or their families. Isn't it simple?
SEAN (Phila & Southern, NJ)
@Paul Agreed…
A. (NJ)
@Paul "Talent" should not be confused with being born to wealth, power, and the WEF "leadership development" that gave us Justin Trudeau, Elon Musk, and half the leaders of the so-called Free World.
kp (waterloo)
@Paul I have another problem with media and people automatically assuming that I should control what my spouse does and has been doing . Yes I agree with avoiding conflict of interest but I cannot go change my spouse because we are two independent people, who love each other and have our own beliefs etc.
Andrew Morash (Toronto)
It doesn’t bode well, when a politician has this much controversy about the sources of his wealth, and tax evasion from his wife’s wealth. It doesn’t portend good things to come with a track record like this.
A. (NJ)
@Andrew Morash People are finally starting to notice that all of our leaders seem to have the same connections.
Ravi K (Singapore)
Get your facts right. There is no tax evasion. She legally avoided paying tax. The outcry is that she should not have used what was legally available to her because her husband aspired to high office. I don’t know of anyone anywhere who has said he/she will pay taxes when not legally obliged to do so. Businesses pay tax accountants lots of money to avail themselves of every legal loophole to avoid paying taxes. So what’s wrong with individuals doing the same?
DM (Tampa)
@Ravi K Common man does not care about technicalities and loopholes. Her husband, a UK citizen, is in national government and she's not paying tens of millions in taxes by saying I belong to another country? To them, it's stealing. If he were not in government, your logic could be fine.
Judy (Canada)
He and his actions in office will be judged by the public and reported on by the press and criticized by the opposition. He has said he will be cutting spending, “making tough decisions”, being fiscally responsible. He will be advocating austerity for the country from a position of great personal wealth. Considering all that is in his background, it is reasonable to think this is not going to work, and that it will go off the rails and be over very quickly, with Truss-like speed.
Eraven (NJ)
Am I to understand that being wealthy disqualifies one from becoming a legitimate Prime Minister in England regardless of his ability and qualifications? If that is the case why not put a limit on an individual’s wealth before he can become a Prime Minister. Nation might suffer but you would no more have to equate wealth and qualification of the Prime Minister.
mpound (USA)
@Eraven "Am I to understand that being wealthy disqualifies one from becoming a legitimate Prime Minister in England regardless of his ability and qualifications?" Wealth doesn't disqualify him, but tax-dodging certainly does.
Billy Pilgrim (Yonder)
@Eraven No, I think you are to understand that wealth holdings that lead to clear conflicts of interest should not be permitted and that people who actually exploit those conflicts of interests should not be allowed to serve. In addition, knowledge of holdings that have clear political significance, such as Sunak's holdings in a company so ties to globalization, should be available to voters so they can make an informed choice. Sunak is a privileged Oxford brat who wants to have his cake and eat it too.
Rosie (NJ)
You miss the point: the problem is not his wealth. The problem is that his family owns a company, Infosys, which is a big government contractor.
Progressive in Ohio (Ohio)
He may notbb can look the traditional British part, but with his wealth and connections, I’m sure Rishi will fall in line and strictly adhere to the usual conservative economic philosophy of: “Conservatives say if you don't give the rich more money, they will lose their incentive to invest. As for the poor, they tell us they've lost all incentive because we've given them too much money.” George Carlin
Progressive in Ohio (Ohio)
@Progressive in Ohio Sorry for the typo. He may not look the traditional…
Stan Continople (brooklyn)
@Progressive in Ohio The wealthy have more in common with each other than they do with whatever nation or circumstances they happened to spend their childhood; their allegiance is to each other, not any particular nation or credo. This goes as well for graduates of elite universities, Barack Obama and his coddling of Wall Street after the meltdown being exhibit A. As George Carlin also said: "It's a big club and you aint in it."
AJ (Falklands area)
Media has been regaling us for months on the fortune Mr. Sunak made at Goldman and in finance, resulting in “immense wealth.” Turns out the vast majority of that “immense wealth,” is the fortune he married into, not the money he made in finance. That major wrong impression given to us, makes one wonder what else media is getting wrong on covering Mr. Sunak’s actions snd disclosures. Has any other British PM been subject to the intense financial scrutiny and discussion (in American media!) that Mr. Sinai has? Yes he may be wealthier than most previous PMs, but one wonders if there is something else driving US media interest and scrutiny. Had Boris Johnson been subject to such scrutiny, it would be hard to see him getting to being or surviving being PM. Instead we have an endless and breathless list of Mr. Sunak did or did not do x, did or did not disclose y, followed by, BTW, in the British system, his conduct is completely permissible. Oh!
L (New England)
@AJ Look no further- there is something that is driving media interest in this man, and these issues: media profits. We read this article, others read it, the media has found another object to focus on because millions of us have evinced an interest. Noted- every time we click on an article mentioning the former pres, every time we click on an article about somebody shooting their mouth off, we tell our media- Hey! We got a live one! Well- why did you read this article today?
Londoner (London)
@AJ. Mr. & Mrs. Sunak have certainly amassed a very considerable fortune and a great deal of that comes with the potential for conflicts of interest. The largest single item is a shareholding in an offshoring concern, but the past and ongoing relationships with hedge funds based in tax havens are deeply worrying too. Offshoring, hedge funds and tax havens are all essentially based on one or other parasitic business model. The very serious worry here is whether Sunak will see and grasp tax reforms that will help average UK residents rather than the tiny minority of parasitic wheeler dealers.
Londoner (London)
@AJ. Mr. & Mrs. Sunak have certainly amassed a very considerable fortune and a great deal of that comes with the potential for conflicts of interest. The largest single item is a shareholding in an offshoring concern, but the past and ongoing relationships with hedge funds based in tax havens are deeply worrying too. Offshoring, hedge funds and tax havens are all essentially based on one or other parasitic business model. The very serious worry here is whether Sunak will see and grasp tax reforms that will help average UK residents rather than the tiny minority of parasitic wheeler dealers.
Sunnysandiegan (San Diego)
Infosys filled a niche that American capitalism created (it’s called sully and demand )and lifted hundreds of thousands in India into the middle class and even created thousands of jobs in US and UK. So literally Rishi’s crime is that he married the love of his life who happened to be the daughter of Infosys founder Mr Murty, who is a bonafide rags to riches story as he himself was barely middle class when he started the company with his wife’s savings as his initial capital in a govt regulation strangled India in the 1980s. The article lists Infosys contracting with British govt for providing again much needed services at great cost to them and Rishi being an MP as somehow tied. But did he have anything to do with these deals whose negotiation probably preceded his time in Parliament? Correlation is not causality. This article seems intent on being a hatchet job to portray someone who legitimately became successful, against the odds I might add given his skin color and the still present racism in British upper classes, as somehow shady while providing no proof of what they have done wrong.
Lynda1 (NJ)
@Sunnysandiegan How many Americans lost their jobs as a result of Infosys outsourcing/insourcing ? How many young Americans were discouraged for years to even look at the direction of CS degree ? Thank you , Infosys and other .
Meena (California)
@Lynda1 Please stop imagining how young Americans are prevented from flocking to CS, Math, Physics and Chemistry at University. Why not ask universities why they fill their classes with foreigners? The reality is these courses require a tremendous amount of really hard work, little fun and continued learning after undergrad. This hunger only driven foreigners know. Our entitled youngsters want free money and coddling from school through university.
bk (ny ny)
@Lynda1 Americans did not lose their jobs, they were simply not able to fill them. The demand for jobs in tech was so high, there were not enough qualified Americans to fill these positions. Why were there not enough qualified Americans? That is the problem we should be focusing on.
Helen Wright (Dorset UK)
Are you telling me that a Conservative PM is a)wealthy and b) slightly opaque about their financial history and dealings? I’m shocked. Shocked I tell you.
N. Mohan (Mumbai)
@Helen Wright Advise all to look up Mr. Naryana Murthy (founder of Infosys) before making any judgments. He has one of the cleanest reputations in India. People have talked ill about Warren Buffett too just because he is rich, despite him having pledged 99+% of his wealth to charities.
Brian (San Francisco)
@Helen Wright I'm not shocked that, three days into his new job, people are already trying to tear him down. Why care about the fact that he went to Oxford and Stanford and can credibly lead the UK out of this economic mess? Much better to be bitter about the fact that the man has money!
johnw (pa)
@Brian ...let's see what solutions he offers before the media gives overriding coverage to distractions.
M Ford (USA)
Mr. Sunak isn't going to hear any praise from the US liberal media because they don't like conservatives. It is a given that they will run trash talk articles about him while he is in office. He isn't going to do anything right in their eyes.
Rosie (NJ)
Educate yourself. There is a thing called Conflict of Interest. Infosys is a huge government contractor. Think.
Dasam (Princeton, NJ)
@M Ford US liberal media with their elitist attitude cannot fathom how can a man of color be a conservative ? All man of color should follow their liberal dictum and fall in line. Do not ever ask to be seated at the high table as it is reserved for Elite White Liberals who will set the agenda. A brown Conservative is a Liberal nightmare !
Tom J (Berwyn, IL)
The Infosys connection is probably news to many conservative working class Brits. They knew he was smart and wealthy, accepted his ethnicity, but had no idea his family was helping to outsource their best jobs. I guess the best comparison is when all those rural and working class republicans finally realize they elected people who destroyed their unions, farms and social security.
theraff (London)
@Tom J I’m sorry to tell you that this connection is well known to the average Brit. It blew up on him earlier in the year when it became known and that his, almost billionaire, wife was claiming non-dom status to dodge paying UK tax. It was all the more astonishing given that he was our finance minister at the time. And to top it all, he still had a Green Card (which he immediately gave up) so he could also have had tax complications.
Old Soul (Nashville)
Those Americans will never own up to their own self-destructive instincts. And they will continue to vote this way as long as conservative candidates appeal to their lack of political understanding and their basest bigotries.
Sandstorm (Vancouver, Canada)
@Tom J London is a big financial centre for global jobs, which have been brought into the UK. Free trade helps almost everyone. It tackles inflation. In the Great Depression, trade restrictions extended the downturn.
SS (US)
Sounds like the Mitt Romney of the UK. Which isn't the worst thing one can be, to be honest. Sunak would also join the ranks of ring wing politicians who are anti-immigrant despite being married to immigrant women themselves - like Trump, Nigel Farage, et al.
TW (Oakland)
@SS Someday Democrats might understand that being against illegal immigration doesn’t mean anti immigration.
Brian Graff (Toronto)
Meet the new boss, same as the old boss - except richer.
Thom (US)
It’s unfortunate that there’s so many spineless politicians without any integrity who are really just in it to make more money for themselves. The conflict of interest and corruption is so obvious and sad
TW (Oakland)
@Thom Do you question how many Democrats come into political office without any wealth but leave office many years later with tens of millions of dollars? Senators get paid well, but not nearly that well.
theraff (London)
@Thom not sure how you can level this at Sunak given his enormous wealth but for the likes of Johnson, that was definitely the case.
James M Flanagan (Chapel Hill)
You can only hope he realizes he's on the historical record now and finds his principles and inner humanitarian conscience the way some Republican Supreme Court appointees did in the US before the Federalists started screening them all for ideological purity, arrogance, and extraordinary skills in denial and rationalization.
VS (Boise, ID)
All of this is good reporting but circumstantial at best. Whether rich or poor, nobody pays more taxes voluntarily and the Sunaks are no different. Mr. Sunak was born in a well to do family and both his parents worked hard. No different from a lot of immigrants in the US. His father-in-law came from an even humbler beginning and created a multi million dollar business out of his hard work and timely opportunities. Not seeing much wrong here other than both Sunak and Murthy as being in the right place at the right time.
Moi (Cowtown)
Avoiding taxes isn’t so honourable.
Observer (Los Angeles)
@Moi Just so that we understand, you'd never take advantage of any legal tax provisions to reduce your tax bill? Did Ms. Murty use any illegal means to avoid paying taxes?
DRS (NE To Gulf Coast)
Having worked alongside infosys for many years I found them to be not only very aggressive and low budget but the most incompetent of the major outsourcers. Many large American corporations having been burned in their initial contracts won’t use them. When our company’s long term contract came up for renewal, infosys put better assets on the projects for a few months until it was signed.
Opinion (Tres Loin)
Thanks for this thorough article. Isn’t that always the conservative politician’s game— pretend you’re fighting on behalf of the small folk but build your own wealth on whatever’s profitable. Makes me sad
Russ (New Albany, Indiana)
The key is how well he does the job. Being poor would not make him a better PM.
Carsafrica (California)
Sunak since his appointment has spoken often of Compassion, there is nothing in his background that indicates an understanding of the word. Actions will determine whether his sincere or not. He has got off to a shaky start by not attending the Climate Summit in Egypt. His reason is that he has much to do at home , true but one of the most urgent things he has to do in the UK is to secure energy independence through renewable energy.
Ann (London By Way Of New Jersey)
"When his political allies briefed reporters about his early life, they said he attended [Winchester College] on scholarship. But his parents had described saving up to pay the fees." There is no necessary contradiction here - Americans generally understand the concept of "scholarship" as an award of tuition fees, usually in full and often for people with merit but without the means to pay the fees themselves. In the UK, fees remission for less well-off students is usually called a "bursary". A scholarship is usually a prize for some kind of excellence that may, but need not, include some form of financial element.
Dan (Tokyo)
@Ann It's a matter of degree. Scholarships usually involve some type of rebate in the UK.
Londoner (London)
@Ann. A scholarship is awarded as a result of the child's good performance in the school's entrance exam - and an interview. You get a discount for a certain percentage of the fees. Our son won a 30% scholarship... And I can assure that we certainly did struggle with paying the remaining 70% of the fees.
Mary Fields (Silver Spring, MD)
It is said that to a sage the leaves on the trees are like the pages of a sacred text, filled with transcendent meaning. We don't see things as they are, but also as we are. The idea that our sense of self, which we usually assume to be relatively stable and enduring, is in actuality constructed anew each moment. "Knowledge is a function of being" Aldous Huxley
M L King (USA)
@Mary Fields Rishi Sunak apparently is a man who got rich in taking care to hide the source of his own money. He exploited the poor people in order to get rich.
Mostly_Bitter_Old_Man (Somewhere_on_the_Fringe)
@Mary Fields True... but what relevance to this article? Your transcendence is beyond my ken (OTOH, it's still early in the morning and fog hasn't lifted).
DM (Tampa)
@Mary Fields I am guessing Mary thinks Rishi has got problems. By the way the word Rishi means sage.
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