I WAS amused by Coun Robert Highfield’s way of equating Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s earnings or income with that of the leader of a local authority (Letters, February 29).

“Our PM is an elected politician. As are the councillors in your council, which includes the leader (equivalent to the PM at local government level)”.

Our prime minister’s personal monies, like the personal monies of many politicians, are not solely from the salaries of their political roles.


Online news site The Conversation has reported regarding Sunak’s last tax bill, that “while the prime minister’s salary of just under £140,000 is subject to income tax, Sunak also received nearly £1.8m from his stake in a US-based investment fund.” 

This ‘capital gain’ was taxed at 20 per cent, far below the 45 per cent rate of income tax that Sunak would have paid if that sum had been treated as income in the UK tax system. The same article refers to leader of the opposition Sir Keir Starmer’s deferential treatment through the lower capital gains tax rates.

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While The Conversation piece also reminds me of the monies Sir Bill Wiggin receives as ‘bonuses’ through ownership of an offshore banking firm, my ward councillor has told me that he himself has to do more than one job to meet his bills.

So perhaps being a ward councillor is an occupation best suited to, say, postholders with at least a state pension income, while being an MP with Palace of Westminster levels of power and decision making is a boon to the personal nest eggs of those who have ultimate responsibility for laying down the taxation levels for income and capital gains?