Tony Blair is the most underpaid prime minister in Europe, according to research which compared governmental salaries against the going rate for chief executives.
Although his salary of £183,932 a year means Blair is the second highest earner among the prime ministers of Europe, he earns less than 10% of the pay awarded to top business chiefs in the UK, the survey reveals.
Management consultancy Hay Group, which conducted the research, found that the prime ministers of France, Germany and the Netherlands earned between 10% and 15% of the average for business chiefs of comparable responsibility in their home countries.
The rate in Belgium and Ireland was 15-20%, and the prime minister of Norway did best, earning more than 30% of the going rate at the top of his country’s corporate tree.
This left open the question of whether Blair was paid too little, or UK business chiefs too much.
Philip Cohen, a Hay consultant, said: ““This research reveals that recent increases in executive pay in the private sector have opened up a huge pay gap between private and public sectors, which reaches even the highest echelons of government.
“There is a growing and widely shared concern that this increasing pay gap may ultimately have negative consequences for the quality and even the continuity of public administration, with relatively low salaries failing to attract people of the right calibre for these positions.”