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The richest of them all?

Robin Lustig | 18:44 UK time, Monday, 29 October 2007

Here's a little game I played on Newshour today. Which political leader in the industrialised world gets the highest salary? Is it George W Bush, on $400,000 a year? Or Gordon Brown, on £187,000 (equivalent to $385,000)? Nicholas Sarkozy of France? Angela Merkel of Germany? None of the above: step forward Prime Minister Bertie Ahern of Ireland, who's just been awarded a 14 per cent pay increase, to take his annual salary to 310,000 euros ($447,000).

Just thought you'd like to know.

Comments

  1. At 11:55 PM on 29 Oct 2007, Diablo wrote:

    Well, Bertie has a lot loans to repay and, let's face it, he ain't going to get £4.6 million for his memoirs!

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  2. At 07:28 AM on 30 Oct 2007, Johnny Norfolk wrote:

    What were his expense claims, does he have a country home as Brown does. More information needed of add ons, as he could end up being the lowest paid if you take the perks in to account. it called benifits in kind.

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  3. At 09:20 AM on 30 Oct 2007, Colin D.Gibbs wrote:

    Is he worth that amount?

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  4. At 09:52 AM on 30 Oct 2007, kamran wrote:

    why would you want to pay him that much? does do his part

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  5. At 10:01 AM on 30 Oct 2007, 1ome wrote:

    i am student studying politics and now that i have seen this article i am more determined of reaching that status. Not only 4 the money but also the features that come with the line of work.

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  6. At 10:14 AM on 30 Oct 2007, 1ome wrote:

    i am student studying politics and now that i have seen this article i am more determined of reaching that status. Not only 4 the money but also the features that come with the line of work.

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  7. At 11:00 AM on 30 Oct 2007, J-Dawg wrote:

    i'm amazed people like Bush and Brown are paid so little. I hate people getting on their high horses, apparently shocked and appalled that world leaders are paid more than supermarket shelf stackers.

    It's worth remembering the thousands of businessmen who earn an awful lot more for doing an awful lot less.

    Oh and 1ome, that must be the saddest thing i've ever read and you have no place going in to politics with that attitude

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  8. At 11:09 AM on 30 Oct 2007, Ilex wrote:

    I also study politics, and have made a concerted effort to try and glean some kernel of sense from your post. I think I'm correct in inferring that you want to be a head of state. Learning how to express yourself properly is always a good start.

    I also feel I ought to point out that very few politicians have studied politics (excepting the current British cabinet packed with PPE-ers - although I suspect this has far more to do with Oxford connections than the area of study).

    Academic politics and politics as practiced are usually incompatible: the analytical skills necessary to analyse political theory or to critique policy are not necessarily congruous with the information and talents needed to actually create policy. I believe I am correct in asserting that most politicians have studied law or history, far less abstract subjects.

    All of this is not to rain on your parade. If you're set on entering the political domain, good luck to you - but you'll need more than a degree and some dollar signs in your eyes to succeed.

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  9. At 01:57 PM on 30 Oct 2007, Kevin Trapani wrote:

    Thanks for bringing this up, Robin. I have a different view of this topic... I think our leaders are not paid enough to attract the best and the brightest. In the US, several hedge fund managers made more than $1.5 billion in 2006. Why wouldn't we pay our president more than $400,000? When it will require a campaign fund of more than $10 million to run for a US Senate seat, why would we think that $200,000 is enough compensation for that role? Of course, I'd love to see true citizen-leaders, but, in the current climate, we have effectively restricted our candidates to the very wealthy or the very well-financed... which is a shame.

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  10. At 01:33 AM on 01 Nov 2007, Mark wrote:

    Mirror, mirror on the wall, which political leader makes the most money of them all? Bush? Brown? Sarkozy? Let's not be naive. These guys are paupers and small time compared to some of our favorite dictators whose Swiss bank accounts are so overflowing with stolen money taken from foreign aid, bribes, outright theft that they are forced to put some of it in the names of close relatives just to protect it all. Which dictatorships of the last few decades should we be looking at? Zimbabwe? Iraq? The Phillipines? How much did Marcos Stash away? What about Idi Amin, do you think he lived in Saudi Arabia on someone else's money all these years? What about Papa and Baby Doc Duval of Haiti? And Arafat...and his wife. Now did the Pakistani government prior to Musharraf actually steal all that money or was that a myth? And in Iraq today, where did all those billions actually go? Makes Bush and Brown look like pikers by comparison. So if you don't like their leadership, just remember, you get what you pay for.

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  11. At 04:56 PM on 01 Nov 2007, Mike wrote:

    An interesting article, but I must say I don't think the information provided covers the whole scope of the subject.

    I'm slightly concerned about your view, Kevin, that salaries for heads of state are too high. The impression that great political mind would be drawn into more lucrative business ventures as opposed to running for parliament, congress, whatever it may be, simply due to the potential earnings portrays a sour and depressing view of our leaders. I, naive as I may be, would hope that simply to serve your country, and the world would be enough of a payment to make the job worthwhile. I know it is one of the most stressful and tense positions, and that some form of compensation must be given, but if that compensation is satisfaction once their time as head of state is up, then it acts a double-edged sword, motivating and acting against corruption during the time in office, and acting as a reward for a hard few years work, in a concious effort to improve our global society.

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  12. At 02:51 PM on 02 Nov 2007, Electric Dragon wrote:

    A leader's recompense is not just monetary though. President Bush may earn $400k but he gets to live in the White House for free (which has a huge range of facilities including its own cinema and bowling alley) along with its staff and services (kitchen, housekeeping etc), he gets his own personal 747 to fly him around the world and when he gets there he has a motorcade to take him to his destination.

    Day to day, the President probably doesn't spend that much money out of his own pocket.

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