Anger has sparked among politicians and unions after reports Liz Truss will be eligible for the ex-prime minister grant of £115,000 annually, despite her short time in the role. Liz Truss resigned as the British prime minister after only 44 days in office, making her the shortest sitting prime minister in the country’s history.
Both Keir Starmer and Ed Davey have said she should not claim the allowance, with the Labour leader telling ITV’s Good Morning Britain: “She should turn it down. I think that’s the right thing to do. She’s done 44 days in office, she’s not really entitled to it, she should turn it down and not take it.”
This comes after Mark Serwotka, general secretary of the Public and Commercial Services Union, said: “At a time when one in five civil servants are using food banks and 35% have skipped meals because they have no food, it’s grotesque that Liz Truss can walk away with what is effectively a £115,000 bonus. The next prime minister must give civil servants, who work hard on essential services, an above-inflation pay rise.”
The former prime minister can claim the funding under the Public Duty Cost Allowance (PDCA), a scheme intended to help former prime ministers still active in public life. The PDCA was introduced in 1991, after the resignation of Margret Thatcher, and has been claimed by ex-PM’s like John Mayor, David Cameron, Theresa May and Tony Blair.
Jo Grady, the general secretary of the University and College Union, has also said Truss should decline the allowance, saying: “Millions of public sector workers, including those who transform lives in education, are in the grips of a devastating cost of living crisis. Low pay leaves thousands upon thousands skipping meals and restricting energy use. They will be appalled to see the soon to be former prime minister rewarded for such catastrophic failings. She should do the right thing and give up the money.”
Joe Davies with the Don’t Pay group, which is demanding a reduction in bills, said: “It’s a slap in the face even as a name. We’re picking up the tab for her ‘public duty’ from our pockets, our stomachs and in our heating bills this winter.”
While she can claim the allowance despite her short time in Number 10, her pensions will not receive a boost. Prime ministers have been part of the regular ministerial pension scheme since 2013. The last prime minister to claim a special prime ministers pensions bonus from Number 10 was Tony Blair.