Lizz Truss resigned as Prime Minister of UK on Thursday, after her tax-cutting plans caused a market meltdown during an already severe cost-of-living crisis in the country. Though she was in the office for only 45 days, Ms Truss is entitled to up to 115,000 pounds (Rs 1.05 crore) from the taxpayers per annum, according to a report in Independent.
Despite having the shortest stint as UK’s Prime Minister, she is eligible for the Public Duty Costs Allowance (PDCA), an allowance introduced in 1991 to assist former Prime Ministers still active in public life. The payments are made only to meet the actual cost of continuing to fulfill public duties, as per the UK government’s official website. The allowance is paid from the Cabinet Office vote and administered by the Cabinet Office Finance Team.
Ms Truss will receive the allowance yearly for the rest of her life.
The allowance was put out in wake of former UK Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher’s resignation and was announced by then Prime Minister, John Major, in March 1991.
In 2020-21, John Major and Tony Blair claimed the maximum allowance; Gordon Brown claimed 114,712 pounds (Rs 1,05,63,428); David Cameron claimed 113,423 pounds (Rs 1,04,44,729) and Theresa May 57,832 pounds (Rs 53,25,547).
As per Independent, Ms Truss will join the six other living former Prime Ministers entitled to claim money through the allowance scheme, a potential combined cost of more than 800,000 pounds or an estimate of Rs 7.37 crore to the UK taxpayers.
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However, many have called for the withholding of the grant from Ms Truss or that she voluntarily forgo it.
Keir Starmer, Leader of the Labour Party of the United Kingdom, told ITV’s Good Morning Britain that Ms Truss should turn the allowance down. “I think that’s the right thing to do. She’s done 44 days in office, she’s not really entitled to it, she should turn it down and not take it,” he said.
The general secretary of the Public and Commercial Services Union Mark Serwotka told The Guardian that it is ‘grotesque’ that Liz Truss will receive a bonus of 115,000 pounds when ‘one in five civil servants are using food banks and 35% have skipped meals because they have no food.’
Mr Serwotka also added that the next Prime Minister should award civil servants who work hard with an “above-inflation pay rise.”