Special advisers – “Nice work if you can get it”

It was recently reported in the press – 16th July 2016 that Cameron overruled Whitehall to boost aides’ pay-outs to £1 million and an encore  for top players in Prime Minister’ s Home Office team.

I recently made a Freedom of Information enquiry on special advisers. I was informed that special advisers are recruited as temporary civil servants. As special advisers are personal appointments made by Ministers under the Constitutional Reform and Government Act 2010 they are exempt from the requirement to be appointed through fair and open competition. Also no information on the pay, appointment, gender or ethnicity of special advisers is held by Government. However contrary to the reply I received the Cabinet Office published Special adviser data releases: numbers and costs for December 2015. The special adviser pay bill for the Cameron Government for 2014/15 was £9.2 million, excluding the cost of severance, which was £1.9 million (net of repayments from special advisers who were reappointed in May 2015. The estimated pay bill for 2015/16 is £8.4 Million. Opposition parties are entitled to £7.1 million from Short Money allocations for 2015/16.

A total of £15.1 million pounds will have been spent on unelected “personal” appointments that fly in the face of the Equality Act 2010.

Many of these special advisers on all sides slide into Parliament as MPs. It should come as no surprise that this egregious behaviour has helped create an electorate that is disenchanted and alienated by the current political system.

Attached documents (click to download)

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