ARE the financial affairs of politicians’ partners legitimate targets for discussion? If the partner in question is married to the Chancellor of the Exchequer who has just increased the British tax rates to the highest for 70 years and it turns out that she is avoiding paying tax here on many millions of pounds of income then the answer is yes, there is a public interest in understanding what is going on.

Akshata Murty, who is often seen in the Richmond constituency with her husband Rishi Sunak, has made a deliberate choice to be registered as a “non-dom”. That choice means she does not pay tax in the UK on the £11.5m annual dividend she gets from her parents’ India-based IT company, Infosys. That means her husband’s Treasury is £4.4m short – a useful sum.

However, Ms Murty will have paid tax on that income in the country in which she is domiciled. If that country is India, that could be seen as an honourable decision because India needs its tax revenue every bit as much as Britain. But if it is a tax haven, that would be excruciating for the tax-raising Chancellor.

The big difficulty for Mr Sunak is perception. It doesn’t look good that his wife is using clever accountancy tactics on her tax forms at a time when he is raising National Insurance, and it doesn’t look good when we are discussing such an astonishingly large personal income at a time when there are real questions about Mr Sunak’s response to the low and middle earners who have genuine fear in their hearts that they could be crushed by their fuel bills.