Rishi Sunak’s wife Akshata Murty lands £6.7 million payout amid junior doctor strike over wages

Murty has collected over £20 million in dividends over the past twelve months, enough to cover a 10% pay rise for nearly 4,000 junior doctors.

Rishi Sunak’s wife Akshata Murty is set to pocket another £6.7 million in dividends from her billion-dollar family tech company as she cements her position as the wealthiest-ever resident of Downing Street.

Murty, who has a stake in Bangalore-based Infosys worth just over half a billion pounds, is set to receive the cash after the firm today announced a 17.5 rupee (17p) dividend to shareholders following a year of rapid growth.

She has received over £40 million in dividends since the start of 2020, according to an Evening Standard analysis, making her one of the highest earners in the country.

The payout comes amid a 96-hour walkout by thousands of junior doctors after the government rejected their demand for a pay rise.

Junior doctors have seen a 26% real-terms pay cut since 2008-09, according to figures by the British Medical Association, who claim that many now face lower hourly wages than coffee shop baristas despite years of costly education and training.

Murty has collected over £20 million in dividends over the past twelve months, enough to cover a 10% pay rise for nearly 4,000 junior doctors, based on average earnings data from the Nuffield Trust.

Rishi Sunak has said he is keen to reach a pay settlement with doctors to avert further strike action.

On Wednesday in a pooled broadcast interview he said: “We are keen to find accommodation, we are happy to talk about pay settlements that are reasonable, that are fair, that are affordable for the taxpayer and allow us to continue delivering on our promise to halve inflation.”

Murty’s extreme wealth has come under the spotlight since her husband Rishi Sunak first ran to be leader of the Conservative Party in July last year, and was earlier this week the subject of an attack ad run by the labour party.

The advert, which concentrates on her non-dom tax status, asks: “Do you think it’s right to raise taxes for working people when your family benefited from a tax loophole? Rishi Sunak does.”

Murty last year renounced her non-dom status, which gave her preferential tax treatment on income earned outside the UK, after it appeared to jeopardise Sunak’s chances at becoming party leader.

At a leadership hustings event in Darlington, Sunak said: “I think in our country, we judge people not by their bank account, we judge them by their character and their actions. And yes, I’m really fortunate to be in the situation I’m in now, but I wasn’t born like this.”

Akshata’s father Narayana Murty founded Infosys, which provides IT outsourcing services, in 1981. It has since grown to have a market cap of £58 billion, giving him a wealth of $4.4 billion (£3.9 billion) according to Forbes.

Murty and Sunak, who married in 2009, own a string of luxury properties worth an estimated £15 million, from a Pacific Ocean facing penthouse apartment in celebrity enclave Santa Monica, to a rambling Georgian manor house in North Yorkshire.

In London, they own two properties including a five-bedroom mews house in Kensington and pied-à-terre apartment in South Kensington’s Old Brompton Road.


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