UK Politics

Government advisers' pay costs £7.9m

Whitehall sign

The wage bill for ministers' special advisers is set to be £7.9m in 2017.

The best-paid are Prime Minister Theresa May's two joint chiefs of staff, Nick Timothy and Fiona Hill, who are each on £140,000 a year.

Six advisers to Mrs May - who is paid £150,402 as prime minister - earn more than £100,000.

According to the newly-published breakdown, there are 83 special advisers working in government, down from 95 in December 2015.

Special advisers, known as "spads", are funded by government departments and employed to give advice over and above the work carried out by Whitehall's 420,000 civil servants, often from a more political standpoint.

Mrs May has the same number of special advisers - 32 - in her team as predecessor David Cameron, but has reduced the overall number across government.

Chancellor Philip Hammond has five special advisers and Home Secretary Amber Rudd and Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson each have three.

The total wage bill is forecast to be £500,000 lower than last year.

Severance payments for advisers to Mr Cameron's administration totalled £1.7m between April 2015 and 13 July, when Mrs May took over.