A senior Labour MP accused Prime Minister David Cameron today of enjoying a secret millionaire lifestyle while trashing the pay and pensions of public servants.
Labour frontbencher Jon Trickett declared that Mr Cameron's pay and perks are worth well over half a million pounds per year - but the true figure is being deliberately hidden.
Mr Trickett complained that the government had repeatedly refused to reveal the true value of the Prime Minister's remuneration package, which includes use of staff and services, country house Chequers and the Downing Street flat and car.
At the same time, some staff at Downing Street are earning less than £17,000 per year.
"This is a disgracefully low amount of money to be paid for working in the most sensitive building in Britain in the centre of one of the most expensive cities in the world," said Mr Trickett, who is Labour's shadow Cabinet Office minister.
Mr Trickett bitterly condemned "incendiary" attacks by millionaire government ministers in response to public service workers' protests over vicious attacks on their pensions.
He pledged to continue his campaign to reveal the true extent of Mr Cameron's remuneration despite meeting a brick wall when he put down parliamentary questions asking ministers for details.
Multimillionaire Mr Cameron has made great play of his pledge to freeze his official salary at £142,500 after a 5 per cent cut compared with the salary of previous PM Gordon Brown.
However, he has gone to great lengths to hide the true scale of his personal wealth.
He claimed over £100,000 from the taxpayer in total "second home" allowances while he was an opposition MP.
He also sold his London house for £1,150,000 in 2006, making a bumper profit.
Hemsworth MP Mr Trickett caused a stir during a session of Parliament's statutory instruments committee on Tuesday which discussed adjustments to ministers' pensions.
Mr Trickett suddenly announced that, with the help of research at the Commons library, "I am in a position to say that the total remuneration package which is received by the Prime Minister has a value of well over half a million pounds per annum, perhaps approaching £1 million."
He added: "Indeed, I understand that the PM may pay tax on some of these facilities, thereby clearly demonstrating that they do indeed form a part of his remuneration package."
Mr Trickett acknowledged that Britain's PM must have access to good facilities and appropriate levels of security.
But he noted that a memorandum on Mr Cameron's remuneration package focused "narrowly on his ministerial salary."
He directly asked Cabinet Office minister Nick Hurd: "Has the same 5 per cent saving been applied to the costs of Chequers, the Downing Street flat and the PM's other facilities?"
And he demanded that the minister look into the failure to provide parliamentary answers on the true costs.
Mr Trickett commented today: "Cameron and his Cabinet of millionaire ministers are interested in transparency when it comes to low-paid workers, but when it comes to their own remuneration there is a veil of secrecy."
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