The UK is officially in a recession, and many people are pointing the finger at Prime Minister Rishi Sunak. The UK's GDP fell by 0.3% in the three months leading up to December, after a 'collapse in retail sales in the run-up to Christmas'. Rachel Reeves, the shadow chancellor, said:
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Rishi Sunak’s promise to grow the economy is now in tatters. The prime minister can no longer credibly claim that his plan is working or that he has turned the corner on more than 14 years of economic decline under the Conservatives that has left Britain worse off.
Rishi Sunak became the UK's Prime Minister in October 2022. Since, he has faced quite a lot of controversy. Now, he's dealing with a recession, but he has also come under fire for a badly-judged joke and failing to hand WhatsApp messages over to the covid enquiry.
Although Rishi Sunak hasn’t always been a millionaire, he managed to flip his financial situation around - both thanks to hispaid-for education and lucrative jobs and his billionaire heiress wife Akshata Murty.
The PM’s £15 million property portfolio, amongst other riches, makes him one of the wealthiest politicians in Britain and it’s easy to forget that he still gets a taxpayer-funded salary every month.
Meanwhile, Rishi Sunak is not the only millionaire amongst his fellow Conservatives. It has recently been revealed that former PM Theresa May tops the list of the highest-earning MPs in Westminster and has pocketed over £2 million from her side hustles alone in the past three years. She and other 16 MPs from the same party got their hands on the combined sum of over £15 million from their additional jobs, compared to only three high earners from the other parties.
Rishi Sunak's combined salary
Rishi Sunak’s personal wealth and the controversy surrounding it continue making headlines as he and his wife Akshata Murty are said to have a £730 million fortune.
The Prime Minister’s Brits-funded earnings are made up of two salaries. One is for being a PM - £80,807, and another one is for his MP for Richmond in North Yorkshire role, an additional £86,584.
As a result, he is entitled to an annual remuneration of £167,391.
Although his salary is a rather modest number compared to his other earnings and his fortune, it is still eye-watering for the majority in the country where the average annual pay stands at around £25,000.
On top of the official wage, Rishi Sunak and his family have the right to live in the flat above the offices of 10 Downing Street and enjoy the use of the Prime Minister’s official countryside residence at Chequers in Buckinghamshire, with all bills paid.
Rishi Sunak's other earnings
The PM continues to receive income from his investments in a US-based fund which reportedly made him a further £1.8 million in 2021/22 tax year.
Due to the risk of any potential conflict of interest, Rishi Sunak isn’t supposed to know where his money is invested. It is therefore listed as a ‘blind investment arrangement’ in the Register of MPs earnings.
In March 2023, the prime minister published his tax return for 2021/22 which showed him get a total of £1,970.992 for that year, on which he paid £432,493 in tax.
Rishi Sunak’s salary compared to other world leaders?
Despite his salary placing him in the top 1% of high earners in the UK, Rishi Sunak gets less than other world leaders.
Rishi Sunak’s £167,391 salary totals around $180,000.
The US President Joe Biden is entitled to $400,000 / £334,000 annually.
The Prime Minister of Canada Justin Trudeau gets CAD 379,000 / £233,000 per annum.
Reported salaries for the German Chancellor Olaf Scholz vary from €30,000 / £26,000 to €35,000 / £31,000 per month, while President of France Emmanuel Macron is compensated approx. €142,000 / £125,000 annually and Prime Minister of Spain Pedro Sanchez receives €86,542 / £76,300 per annum.
Politics.co.uk: 'Rishi Sunak's salary'
Metro: 'How much does the Prime Minister earn? Rishi Sunak’s salary explained'
The Guardian: UK economy in recession as households cut spending