People are debating whether Boris Johnson is 'underpaid' and should get a pay rise

Louis Staples
Saturday 19 September 2020 13:45
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(Getty)

When it comes to British politics, there’s several debates which just refuse to die.

Brexit is the biggest one, of course.

But whether MPs are paid too much or too little is another groundhog day argument. The standard MP salary has risen several times over the last few years and now stands at £82,000, putting them in the top 5 per cent of earners.

And now, if the discourse wasn't bad enough, people are debating whether prime minister Boris Johnson is “underpaid” on his £150,000 salary.

The debate comes as a response to a very juicy report by the Times that alleged that people close to the PM say he’s unhappy in his job. One of the reasons given was that he allegedly feels “underpaid”.

The report alleges that friends of Johnson say he’s struggling with the pay cut he took to become PM. His MP salary, combined with a newspaper column and speaking engagements, apparently meant that he earned much more money before he entered Downing Street.

As PM Johnson has to fork out for his own food, plus guests at Chequers (the prime minister's country residence). And one of his friends even told the Times that Johnson can only afford one cleaner.

Obviously, given that lots of people have been taking pay cuts or been laid off because of Covid-19, it’s fair to say the idea that the PM might feel underpaid hasn’t gone down well.

Lots of people suggested Johnson definitely isn't underpaid.

But others (the minority) disagreed, saying high salaries are necessary to entice the best talent to the House of Commons and ultimately to government.

Yet given £150,000 puts Johnson in the top 1 per cent of earners in the UK, and that he struggled to answer how much care workers are paid just this week, there's surely a worry that a pay rise would make him even more out of touch?

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