How much does the Prime Minister earn?


A PRIME Minister’s earnings are made up a parliamentary salary and a ministerial entitlement.

Then there are various expenses they can claim, and money-saving perks of the job. Because of the importance of the role, there are strict limits on what the Prime Minister can earn from other sources while in post.

Boris Johnson took a substantial pay cut when he entered Downing Street

How much does the Prime Minister earn?

The Prime Minister earns two salaries – one for being an MP and an additional one known as the ‘ministerial entitlement’ for being the Prime Minister.

In the 2020-21 financial year, the Prime Minister will receive £81,932 for being an MP and is entitled to an additional £79,469 for his role as PM.

On top of this total of £161,401, the Prime Minister has the use of 10 Downing Street and country estate Chequers while in post.

This means the Prime Minister can earn, by rent, on any personal property not needed while they use these official residences.

The Prime Minister can avoid the costs of running a vehicle too, because like all ministers, they have the use of an official car.

As well as the salary and annual top up, Prime Ministers, like all members of parliament, can claim expenses for costs such as running an office, employing staff, and travelling.

Since 2011 the pay and expenses for MPs has been set by the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (IPSA).

Prime Ministers get free use of the country house Chequers in Buckinghamshire during their tenure

How much does Boris Johnson earn as Prime Minister?

Whilst Boris Johnson is entitled to a total of £161,401, he will actually receive less than this – £157,372 in the 2020-2021 financial year.

This is because ministers do not claim the full amount they are entitled.

The salaries of government ministers have been frozen since 2010, but IPSA has continued to raise their entitlement in line with inflation and other factors.

As a result, Mr Johnson only claims £75,440 of the £79,936 ministerial salary he is entitled to as Prime Minister.

Prime Ministers can’t earn outside their public duties, so Mr Johnson took a pay cut of over £600,000 when he moved into Downing Street in July 2019.

In the 11 months before that he earned £275,000 a year from his weekly column for The Daily Telegraph and £400,000 giving speeches.

However, Mr Johnson can still receive royalties from books he had published before entering Downing Street.

When he leaves Downing Street he will be free to earn millions in advisory positions, corporate roles, giving speeches and writing books, as other previous PMs have done.

How does the Prime Minister’s salary compare to other jobs?

The Prime Minister’s income is more than five times annual income for the UK in 2020.

However, prime ministerial income compares favourably to high-end jobs using Office for National Statistics (ONS) data.

The £161,000 entitlement is just higher than the average Chief Executive’s annual income of £156,209, and much higher than:

  • Air traffic controllers £93,955,
  • Marketing and sales directors £93,372,
  • Legal professionals £90,791,
  • Financial planners and directors £87,855, and,
  • Aircraft pilots and flight engineers £86,204.
  • Dentists £82,839
  • Doctors £79,769
  • IT directors £79,260
  • Advertising and PR directors £79,260

Who pays for security once a Prime Minister stands down?

Prime Ministers and former Prime Ministers are all kept safe using public funds.

Since 1991 ex-Prime Ministers can claim up to £115,000-a-year in Public Duty Costs Allowance for expenses generated by their special position in public life.

On top this, they continue to have use of a chauffeur-driven car.

The security is provided by Protection Command, part of Metropolitan Police Special Operations, which is responsible for special protection duties.

This protection does have its downsides, such as limited time alone and always having to check-in with the team to inform them of your plans.