Blair to take his full salary

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The Independent Online
Tony Blair will accept his full salary next year, a rise of pounds 41,443, taking his pay to pounds 143,860, Downing Street sources confirmed last night. Other Cabinet members will also accept increases, taking their salaries to pounds 103,860 from April.

His decision is likely to provoke uproar from public-sector workers who are expected to be told next week that their pay bill will be frozen for another year. A Downing Street spokesman played down the news, saying the Prime Minister had always said he would not take his pay rise until next year.

"We made it clear in the first week after the election that the Prime Minister and the Cabinet would not take the full salaries to which they were entitled for the first year. Mr Blair has not had his pay rise this year and nor have the Cabinet and we said very publicly in May that that would be the case, so there is nothing new. The salaries of ministers are set by an independent pay- review body in the same way as others in the public sector."

-Kate Watson-Smyth