According to UK salary benchmarking site Emolument.com, politicians in the United Kingdom are not generally overpaid compared to private sector senior banker pay. In fact, the salaries of Ed Miliband and David Cameron (the to leading politicos in the UK right now) are very close to that of London senior bankers who on average earn a salary of £150,000 (not including bonuses), around 7% more than the average salary of the two leaders.
Politicians don’t get bonuses
The Emolument report notes that when you take bonuses into account, both Cameron and Miliband “fall far behind their private sector peers, with bonuses ranging from £5,000 to £10,000s.” The report goes on to point out that the politicos will likely be able to make up for the lack of bonuses (at least to some extent) by spending time on the “lucrative conference circuit” that a number of pols joined after their tour of public life. Emolument also highlights that popular former UK PM Tony Blair has supposedly earned at least £13 million pounds since he left office.
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UK senior politician pay outpaces that of academic peers
Of note, graduates from the London School of Economics and Oxford with around as much experience as Miliband and Cameron take home average annual salaries of £105,000 and £131,000, respectively. This means that of the current UK political leaders are significantly outperforming the majority of their peers in terms of pay.
Local politicians make much less than senior banker pay
Keep in mind that local politicians in the UK do not make anywhere near the kind of money that major politicians or senior bankers are paid. Thomas Drewry, CEO at Emolument.com noted: “While a handful of top public jobs pay well to compete with the private sector, choosing public office over a career in law or banking entails a meaningful financial sacrifice for most with salaries for senior local government officials at around £47,000.“