Mark Leftly: Let's leave Mark Carney's pay on the back burner and see if he can earn it first

  • @MLeftly

Outlook I'm not sure if anyone is really worth a £480,000 salary, but what I do know is that such a figure is far from egregious for the person who is supposed to sort out the UK's monetary policy and help to drag us out of this interminable economic mire.

Again, the incoming Bank of England governor, Mark Carney, has seen his pay questioned by members of the Treasury Select Committee. Good theatre, particularly when you can throw in that Mr Carney, the current Bank of Canada Governor, will also get a £144,000 annual pension allowance.

Mr Carney's new staff are enduring a pay freeze (that will help to keep down inflation) and he will be the best-paid central banker on earth.

And what about that £250,000 housing allowance?

"I'm moving from one of the least expensive capitals – Ottawa – to one of the most expensive," he answered in a cool manner that is reassuring giving the mess of regulatory and monetary functions that he will soon have to integrate.

What is clear from this exchange is that Mr Carney doesn't feel the need to fudge an answer, nor does he seem particularly bothered if anyone questions his pay packet. Why should he? The Chancellor, George Osborne, wanted him, and he was offered the cash. So what's Mr Carney supposed to say: "Actually, I understand that the British people are struggling: in exchange for leaving a country that I've steered through these horrific economic times, where I am revered as a saviour and tipped for top political office, I'll come over and help rescue you guys at much less than you think I am worth"?

Mr Carney's pay should be left alone – for now.

What is more important is whether he can replicate his success over the pond, where he was surely lucky to have been a governor at a resources-rich country that had kept to a strict inflation target long before his tenure started.