Politics

How much severance pay will Liz Truss get after she resigned as prime minister?

It’s more than someone earning minimum wage makes in a year

Only yesterday Liz Truss told the government at prime minister's questions that she was a “fighter not a quitter”. Image: Parliament tv

While no one would doubt that Liz Truss has certainly had a somewhat stressful job to do as prime minister, many would challenge whether she deserves to be financially rewarded for crashing the pound, causing mortgage rates to rise and performing more U-turns than someone failing their driving test.

But the UK’s shortest serving prime minister will still receive severance pay to the tune of £18,860 – £419.11 for each day she served in the top job – according to independent fact checkers Full Fact

This is also, roughly, a year’s salary for someone aged 23 earning the national minimum wage (also called national living wage). 

The prime minister resigned on Thursday October 20, after the House of Commons descended into chaos the night before when a Labour motion to ban fracking sparked confusion over whether the vote could actually be about confidence in the government.

With a blank expression, Truss told the nation that she could not deliver the mandate on which she was elected as prime minister and Tory leader, and had notified King Charles that she was resigning.

People holding paid positions in government and the opposition are entitled to severance pay of a quarter of their salary when they leave their job.

And this is, of course, on top of her PM salary – of which she has received just one pay cheque  – of £79,936. This is on top of her basic MP’s salary of £84,144, which she will continue to earn as she returns to the backbenches. 

So in sum, with a severance pay out of £18,860 plus 1.5 months’ salary as PM at roughly £6,781.50, Truss has earned £25,600 for spending 45 days as the British prime minister.

And just incase she spends it all at once, the ex-prime minister will be entitled to claim up to £115,000 per year from the taxpayer for the rest of her life. The Public Duty Costs Allowance (PDCA) is a pot of money that former prime ministers can claim expenses from to cover the cost of continuing to fulfil public duties.

It is also worth noting that Truss spent a week longer campaigning to be prime minister – 53 days – than she did doing the job. She received £425,000 in personal donations to boost her Conservative leadership bid.

This additional cost to the public purse comes on top of the £18,860 also paid out to Boris Johnson when he handed in his resignation letter to the Queen in July, and the multiple payouts issued to the cohort of ministers who resigned during the chaos in the weeks prior.

Support the Big Issue

For over 30 years, the Big Issue has been committed to ending poverty in the UK. In 2024, our work is needed more than ever. Find out how you can support the Big Issue today.
Vendor martin Hawes

Recommended for you

View all
All of Keir Starmer’s U-turns and abandoned policy pledges, from child benefits to private schools
Keir Starmer, U-turn, broken promises
Labour

All of Keir Starmer’s U-turns and abandoned policy pledges, from child benefits to private schools

Green Party leader Carla Denyer on climate crisis, fighting for trans rights and beating Labour
Politics

Green Party leader Carla Denyer on climate crisis, fighting for trans rights and beating Labour

Are we headed for a low-turnout general election? Why poverty and mistrust mean voters staying home
Rishi Sunak, general election, low turnout
Politics

Are we headed for a low-turnout general election? Why poverty and mistrust mean voters staying home

'Real change is essential': Our blueprint for change shows how Sunak and Starmer can end poverty for good
Conservatives' Rishi Sunak and Keir Starmer of Labour went head to head in party conference speeches but which one tackled the housing crisis head on
Big Issue

'Real change is essential': Our blueprint for change shows how Sunak and Starmer can end poverty for good

Most Popular

Read All
Renters pay their landlords' buy-to-let mortgages, so they should get a share of the profits
Renters: A mortgage lender's window advertising buy-to-let products
1.

Renters pay their landlords' buy-to-let mortgages, so they should get a share of the profits

Exclusive: Disabled people are 'set up to fail' by the DWP in target-driven disability benefits system, whistleblowers reveal
Pound coins on a piece of paper with disability living allowancve
2.

Exclusive: Disabled people are 'set up to fail' by the DWP in target-driven disability benefits system, whistleblowers reveal

Cost of living payment 2024: Where to get help now the scheme is over
next dwp cost of living payment 2023
3.

Cost of living payment 2024: Where to get help now the scheme is over

Strike dates 2023: From train drivers to NHS doctors, here are the dates to know
4.

Strike dates 2023: From train drivers to NHS doctors, here are the dates to know