Theresa May has capped the salaries of all Tory government advisers — apart from her own.
The prime minister has ordered pay restrictions which mean no new government special adviser (also known as SPADs) will be paid more than £72,000 a year, according to the Times.
This is so May can distance herself from the unnecessary “excesses” of the David Cameron administration.
However, the decision has caused resentment among some advisers, as May’s personal team of aides will not be restricted to the salary cap.
“I can’t imagine that Nick [Timothy] and Fiona [Hill] are going to be taking a pay cut,” one unnamed former adviser told the Times. “It seems all a bit like one rule for one and one rule for another.”
Timothy and Hill are chiefs of staff to the prime minister, having served as special advisers to May when she was home secretary. The Times is reporting that both are exempt from the new rule. Their predecessor, Ed Llewellyn, earned £140,000 a year — just £2,000 less than the prime minister’s annual wage.
May’s shake-up of adviser pay has also led to some candidates rejecting the opportunity to work in Whitehall because it would mean taking a significant pay-cut. At least two people were interested in becoming government SPADs but cooled off after being told Downing Street would not match their wages, according to the Times.
During the final year of Cameron’s time in office, the total cost of paying special advisers topped £9.2 million. May is keen to cut back on these costs and in doing so create a clear separation between Cameron’s premiership and her own.
The cap is currently set at £72,000, but Sue Grey, the cabinet director who is responsible for implementing the policy, is trying to pay advisers a lot less. “They are trying to be quite robust on what they are prepared to give,” a new SPAD said. “It’s not as much as I would like.”
The Cabinet Office declined to immediately comment.
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