Philip Hammond is the most overpaid public sector worker in the country

‘When Philip Hammond treated the Cabinet to the insight that public sector workers are “overpaid”, was this a rare show of humble self-awareness from a senior politician? Was he thinking of himself?

In addition to his MP’s salary of £74,000, Hammond trousers almost as much again (£67,505) – about thrice the average salary of a nurse – for being Chancellor. Of course, that doesn’t account for the lavish expenses, outrageously generous pension arrangements, and free use of a central London flat and a splendid grace-and-favour country house in Buckinghamshire. The whole package must be worth close to £400,000.

Would a private sector employer reckon Hammond worth hiring at such expense after a year in his current job most fondly recalled for that humiliating U-turn on self-employed National Insurance contributions? His Budget disintegrated within days, he is openly skirmishing with his rivals for the succession, and he has only survived on sufferance because a Prime Minister with whom he has visibly fallen out with is too weak to fire him as she intended to had she won a majority.’

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