I've a weather eye for big corporations taking the mickey, of course. But as a politician I've also noticed that most private enterprise owners are paid a fraction of what the bosses of large and powerful charities are.Or even small and powerful ones, for that matter.
Imagine, for example, you are the CEO of a private company with normal volunteered income from the public of around £5,000 per year* and staffed by just 8 people. Do you think you could justify a salary for yourself of over £80k?
You see, the latest ASH accounts are now available at the Charity Commission website and that's precisely the position of Deborah Arnott. Nice work if you can get it!
In these difficult economic times; with the state purse being tightened everywhere; savage cuts to state expenditure as we are routinely informed by the Guardian et al (ASH currently sponge £150k per annum) life is still pretty sweet for Debs. Her 2012 salary was bracketed between between £70k to £80k, but an increase in her time at the trough means she now trousers £80k to £90k (page 22).
OK, perhaps it was just a few quid which tipped her over the threshold. Except that the 2004 accounts showed her earning between £50k and £51k! Wow! That's one hell of a jump, isn't it? A minimum 60% increase in 9 years, plus uniquely enhanced pension (page 20)? Hands up anyone out there who can claim anything even close.
But then, in 2004, Debs didn't have two jobs as I remarked on yesterday. Before, it was just about tobacco, but since she is now secretary to a host of organisations in the Smokefree Coalition all dedicated to placing as many obstacles in front of e-cigs as humanly possible, I suppose her rapidly expanding salary is more understandable.
Ensuring continuity of profits for tobacco control's pharma sponsors while also protecting their favoured (but comparatively useless) method of quit or die against a hugely superior e-cig opponent must take some doing.
Cheap at half the price, eh?
* Boosted this year by a one-off willed legacy of £125k