Nigel Farage is at it again. He’s out in force today, claiming to be a ‘man of the people’. This time, he thinks his everyperson credentials are proven by his poverty – because he says he’s the poorest person in politics.
On a programme for Channel 4, the Ukip leader said that he has to live on “about half what the local headmaster or GP earns”. He went on to provide evidence of what he believes to be low-pay:
“I don’t think I know anyone in politics who is as poor as we [Nigel Farage and his wife] are. We live in a small semi-detached cottage in the country, and I can barely afford to live there. We don’t drive flash cars. We don’t have expensive holidays. We haven’t done for ten years.”
But as is so often the case with Farage, the ‘facts’ he espouses don’t quite add up.
Farage’s annual salary as an MEP (a position he’s held for 15 years) is £75,000 – which is nearly £10,000 more than an MP’s salary – but he also gets travel expenses and a daily allowance of £238 when he is in Brussels or Strasbourg.
Courtesy of Ukip Farage is driven around in a car which costs £60,000 a year, and the party also pays for of a team of bodyguards who accompany him around the country. Meanwhile, his wife Kirsten Farage who was formerly paid £27,000 a year to be her husband’s secretary is now employed by UKIP MEP Ray Finch and is reportedly earning more than £30,000 a year.
The money doesn’t stop rolling in here. Through media appearance and lectures in 2012/12013 The Times (£) have reported that a personal service company – which Farage channels money through – made a profit of £45,488.
Farage’s past is also littered with bank notes. He had shares in trading firm, Farage Limited, that his brother earned £696,000 in dividends – after Farage has set up a trust on the Isle of Man to reduce the inheritance tax bill his children may face. Not exactly the actions of a poor man.
So when Farage says “There are two types of people in politics: those that want to be something and those who want to do something. I want to do something” it’s safe to assume that ‘something’ is make a lot of money, all the while claiming to be poor…