There’s no better time to bury bad news than Budget day, so George Osborne must have been relieved that details of his new job were released yesterday.
As Philip Hammond delivered a lengthy budget address to MPs, three new entries appeared under the name of the former Chancellor in the register of MPs’ interests.
One reveals that Osborne has been hired as an adviser by wealth management firm Blackrock, where he will be paid “£162,500 a quarter in return for a quarterly commitment of 12 days.”
That works out at £13,541 a day, £54,166 a month or a whopping £650,000 a year – for working one day a week.
That’s on top of his MP’s salary of £74,962.
Ironically though, Osborne will be hit by the increase in National Insurance contributions for the self-employed announced by Hammond and could end up paying up to £13,000 more in tax.
Either way, Osborne’s arrangement with Blackrock looks like a bad deal when you compare it to his speaking fees.
Two more new entries showed the Tory MP for Tatton has received £51,082 from the Flanders Chamber of Commerce and Industry and £15,081 from Lloyds Bank for speaking engagements.
That makes it ten paid speeches since he was sacked by Theresa May last July.
But generous George has declared his intention to donate the smaller fee to a charity in his constituency.
Taking that into account, he has pocketed £771,367 in speaking fees from just 32 hours work – that’s £24,105 an hour.
Well, nothing’s too good for the ‘workers’ party’…