As Unicef step in to feed hungry UK kids, No 10 defends £45k pay rise to Dominic Cummings

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Downing Street has defended Dominic Cummings’ pay rise of around £45,000 as taking him to the “correct level of salary” for his role as a “most important” special adviser.

His salary raise to up to £144,999 provoked anger for rewarding an individual whose trip to Barnard Castle during the first lockdown has been cited as undermining public confidence in the government.

The news comes on the same day that Unicef has launched its first UK operation in its 70-year history to feed hungry children. As Labour MP Richard Burgon tweeted, in the UK, “poverty is a political choice”.

Cummings is in the process of leaving his role as Boris Johnson’s chief adviser after a bitter public power struggle gripped Number 10.

Lee Cain resigns
Lee Cain was paid the equivalent of £140,000-£144,999 last year (Victoria Jones/PA)

Labour said the “bumper bonus” was an insult to public sector workers receiving a pay freeze after a Cabinet Office report showed Cummings was paid the equivalent of £140,000-£144,999, up from £95,000-£99,999 last year.

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On Wednesday, the Prime Minister’s press secretary Allegra Stratton said: “It’s the case that Dominic Cummings’ revised salary reflected the fact that up until his departure he was one of if not the most important special adviser.

“And the new salary he received was in line with the salary chiefs of staff and people of that rank receive. It was not that his new salary took him over and above what you would expect for the kind of role he performed.”

Stratton, who earns between £125,000 and £129,999, added: “It’s the correct level of salary for the role that Dominic Cummings performed.”

The overall cost of special advisers, known in Westminster as Spads, was £9.6 million in the year up to April 2020, the same as in the previous period.

Former communications chief Lee Cain, who left Downing Street last month along with his Vote Leave ally Cummings, was paid between £140,000 and £144,999, the same as the previous year.

Labour’s deputy leader Angela Rayner said: “Boris Johnson defended Dominic Cummings when he broke lockdown rules – then awarded him a £50,000 pay rise. Yet he’s freezing pay for key workers and refusing to give our care workers a pay rise to the living wage.

“Cummings’ bumper bonus is an insult to key workers denied the pay rise they deserve. It’s another example of how under this Government, it is one rule for the Tory Party and their friends and another for the rest of us.”

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    1. The DWP spend around £43m a year in bonuses for the civil servants as they throw the disabled, ill and poor into the gutter. Much too late for the 73% whose cases are upheld in court some years later, when some have died and others had committed suicide. It is thought that Austerity has caused the deaths of over 100 000 human beings. The Criminal Cabinet so far, have been responsible for the deaths of over 70 000 human beings. The politicians awarded themselves a handsome £10 000 handout never mind the ravaging of the public purse by £billions. Plague Island has become an open prison run by a criminal cabal, backed up by police who now circumvent the laws they promised to uphold. We have no protection from this disgraceful mob of gangsters. If it were not already deplorable, our police now use Israeli drones for surveillance. The same drones that fly over Palestine and used for assassination as well as surveillance. What the hell happened to Britain? I am shamed to be called British.

    2. Very well put RedSpear and sadly so true. For the life of me I just cannot understand how all this has just passed the British People by without so mush as a whimper of protest. These gangsters operate exactly like the Mafia, keep the people that can ruin them in check by bribes and favours, look after their fellow criminal organisations by giving them a cut of the cash from all their crimes and never admit anything. I think this all started during Thatcher’s reign when she gave the police a huge pay rise just before the Miners strike and then used them as her private army, before going on to make greed a aspiration of a select few by selling off public utilities at a bargain price to joe public before he/she made a buck before selling the shares they owned to big corporations and the already rich and still below the real value.

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