09 Jun

Written by Kathryn Vercillo on June 9, 2011

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong

Presidents and prime ministers are supposed to be public servants who can relate to everyday people but how many public servants do you know that are earning six figure incomes or more? Politicians often do and that’s just counting their straightforward annual salary, not all of their little perks and expenses claimed throughout the year by people in a position of power.Ok its not one of the easiest jobs in the world and you are pretty much guaranteed to become a hate figure by someone in the world, but who cares when your earning all this money!

Let’s take a moment to look at the world’s ten highest paid politicians based on annual salary alone:

1. Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong – Singapore

  • Salary in GBP: £1.76 million
  • Salary in USD: $2.86 million
  • Salary in local currency: S$3.87 million

This highest paid politician in the world makes considerably more than any of the other people on the list despite that the others are all earning six figure incomes. He’s the only one earning an actual annual salary in the millions.

2. Chief Executive and President of the Executive Council Donald Tsang Yam-Kuen – Hong Kong

  • Salary in GBP: £318,000
  • Salary in USD: $516,000
  • Salary in local currency: HK$4 million

In the late 1990’s Tsang was the Financial Secretary of Hong Kong so he certainly knows his way around money, which is probably good since he is earning a lot of it!

3. President Mwai Kibaki – Kenya

  • Salary in GBP: £276,449
  • Salary in USD: $449,000
  • Salary in local currency: KES 38,974,556

A couple of years ago Kenya wasn’t even on lists like this but the current president is earning a nice income in his job. Starting last year, though, his salary has begun to be taxed to help boost the economy of the country.

4. President Barack Obama – U.S.

  • Salary in GBP: £246,000
  • Salary in USD: $400,000
  • Salary in local currency: $400,000

This has been the president’s annual salary in the United States since 2001. Prior to that the president’s salary was only half this price but hadn’t been raised since 1969.

5. President Nicolas Sarkozy – France

  • Salary in GBP: £196,000
  • Salary in USD: $318,000
  • Salary in local currency: €240,000

One of Sarkozy’s very first actions as president was to give himself a raise. His yearly salary went from €101,000 to €240,000 after he gave himself this raise. In fairness this is comparable to many other European leaders as we can see from this list.

6. Chancellor Angela Merkel – Germany

  • Salary in GBP: £187,000
  • Salary in USD: $303,000
  • Salary in local currency: €228,000

This woman is the first female Chancellor of Germany and also the highest paid female politician.

7. Prime Minister Stephen Harper – Canada

  • Salary in GBP: £151,000
  • Salary in USD: $246,000
  • Salary in local currency: C$317,000

Half of this annual salary is the normal salary for a member of Canadian parliament and the other half is the pay increase for being Prime Minister.

8. Prime Minister Naoto Kan – Japan

  • Salary in GBP: £150,000
  • Salary in USD: $240,000
  • Salary in local currency: Y24 million

Notably the Prime Minister of Japan has stated that he will not accept his monthly salary until the recent crisis in Japan as been dealt with. Kudos to him for at least making that effort!

9. Prime Minister David Cameron – UK

  • Salary in GBP: £142,000
  • Salary in USD: $230,500
  • Salary in local currency: £142,000

Cameron is earning slightly less than former Prime Minister Gordon Brown who was earning £194,250 in 2009.

10. Prime Minister Julia Gillard – Australia

  • Salary in GBP: £141,000
  • Salary in USD: $229,000
  • Salary in local currency: A$330,000

The only other woman on our list, this Prime Minister of Australia is earning the same salary as her predecessor Kevin Rudd.

What do you think about politicians earning high incomes like this? Share your thoughts in the comments!

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