Bank of England governor Andrew Bailey, on 575k a year, says he would refuse pay rise

Bank of England Governor Andrew Bailey at the Houses of Parliament on Wednesday  (PA)
Bank of England Governor Andrew Bailey at the Houses of Parliament on Wednesday (PA)

Governor of the Bank of England Andrew Bailey has told MPs he will not take a pay rise this year and that lower-paid staff should “get a larger share of the pot”.

Mr Bailey has an annual pay package of about £575,000.

He told the Treasury Committee on Wednesday: “It’s not for me to decide but if I was offered one I would not accept it. I would politely decline as I have done before.”

He added that the Bank has not decided its latest pay changes for employees but indicated it would direct more support towards its lower-paid staff.

“We have not done our pay round yet,” he said.

“But the mix of pay in settlements will be different.

“We want to ensure that out lower-paid staff get a larger share of the pot that we are offering this year because I think that is the fair way to do it in the context of the situation we find ourselves in.”

His comments come as soaring inflation is described as the “enemy that we need to face down” by Prime Minister Rishi Sunak as it spiralled above 11 per cent.

Official figures showed CPI inflation rose to an eye-watering 11.1 per cent in October, up from 10.1 per cent a month earlier, according to the Office for National Statistics.

The Prime Minister emphasised that Chancellor Jeremy Hunt would set out a plan to “grip” inflation in his Autumn Statement on Thursday which is expected to include more than £20 billion of tax rises and at least £30 billion of spending cuts to get Britain’s public finances back on an even keel.

Earlier this week Mr Bailey told reporters that high inflation is hitting lower income households the hardest because a bigger slice of their spending goes on “essentials of living”, like food and energy.

During a visit to the North of England he said that the current inflation is “particularly bad” and will take up to two years to control.

He said that it would be sensible for businesses to direct pay rises to lower paid workers in this environment.

A member of the Bank of England’s rate-setting body has said the record-breaking recession that the UK is thought to be entering could be longer or shorter than the Bank predicted earlier this month.

The Bank has forecast that the country could already be at the start of an eight-quarter recession, the longest since reliable records began in the 1920s.

“The last two or three quarters of that projected decline in GDP (gross domestic product) are pretty small, so it wouldn’t take much of a tilt to shave a couple of quarters off the projected length of the recession,” Monetary Policy Committee member Ben Broadbent said.

“So, I would not stand squarely behind the length and say this will definitely happen, it could easily turn out to be a little bit shorter or a little bit longer,” he said.