Dominic Cummings, the architect of all hell in modern Britain, is earning between £95,000 and £99,999, according to new figures released by the Cabinet Office.
Cummings is among the top earners in government, but outmatched by the likes of the Director of Communications, Lee Cain, and the de-facto Chief of Staff, Sir Eddie Lister, both earning between £140,000 and £145,000.
The latest spending figures for special advisors, covering the financial year ending March 2019 (so before the Boris Johnson administration), comes to a total of £9.6 million, with a further £208,000 on severance pay. This is the largest figure since 2015, and with 108.4 full time equivalent special advisors, there are more SpAds than ever.
Out of the 109 staff in total on the current payroll, women make up just 35%, and on average earn £4,400, or 5.7%, less than men. In the top pay grade, band 4, where special advisors earn between £96,000 to £145,000, there are only two women out of nine staff in total: Nikki da Costa, the PM’s director of legislative affairs, and Munira Mirza, the (former communist) head of the No. 10 Policy Unit.
The PM’s office has a total of 44 staff, 12 of whom are women, and 32 of whom are men. This isn’t quite as bad as Michael Gove’s four-man office, where every single special advisor is a man.
Only in the lowest paygrade, band 1, where SpAds earn between £40,500 and £60,500, is the ratio of men to women 50:50.
It’s unclear if next year’s bill will be quite as sizeable: while several Whitehall departments are due to be closed or merged, Cummings is said to be hoping to open Whitehall and the civil service up to “outsiders”, which may well mean more special advisors.
Either way, I think we can all agree that Cummings isn’t value for money.