Million dollar Miliband

Published by The Mail on Sunday (29th September, 2019)

Former Labour Foreign Secretary David Miliband is being paid almost $1 million a year to run a humanitarian charity that receives massive sums from British taxpayers.

His astonishing pay package as chief executive of International Rescue Committee has soared to $911,796 (£741,883) – almost five times the salary of the British Prime Minister – according to the US-based organisation’s latest tax return.

Mr Miliband’s income has swelled by $240,047 (£195,314) over the past two years while he has toured the world demanding more support for refugees, migrants and victims of conflict, and hobnobbing with billionaires, royals and presidents.

Other senior figures at his organisation are also creaming in the cash, with the 12 top-paid officials pocketing more than £4 million between them – a collective rise of £1.1 million in just two years.

The revelation – the latest pay scandal in the aid industry exposed by The Mail on Sunday – provoked calls last night for the charity to stop receiving British cash until it curbs the huge salaries. 

The IRC has been handed £107 million over the past two years by the Department for International Development to run refugee, health and poverty-relief projects in Africa, Asia and the Middle East.

‘They say charity begins at home and clearly it does for the top bosses in this organisation,’ said Tory MP Nigel Evans, a member of the Commons International Development Committee.

‘This is a grotesque waste of money given by British taxpayers to help the most vulnerable families around the world. Instead, it is being funnelled to the Miliband family – and until the IRC puts their house in order we should stop funding them.’

The revelation comes amid talk that Mr Miliband might return to British politics. He is reported to have held talks last year with his former boss Tony Blair over forming a new centrist force funded by donors infuriated by the hard-Left takeover of Labour.

Mr Miliband’s latest package includes a basic salary of $861,209 (£700,723) plus $50,587 (£41,160) ‘other compensation from the organisation and related organisations’. It is more than twice as much as the next best-paid IRC executive.

The IRC declined to answer questions but in a statement said Mr Miliband was running a charity with 20,000 staff in more than 40 countries. 

‘This salary is in the middle of the range of New York’s non-profit CEO salaries,’ it added. ‘IRC receives consistently high ratings for its efficient and effective work with DfID to save and change lives around the world.’

The disclosure will fuel fears that greedy charities and private sector consultants are milking the bloated aid budget, which has almost doubled to £14.5 billion since the Tories entered Downing Street in 2010.

The Charity Commission has asked Marie Stopes International why it handed chief executive Simon Cooke £434,000 last year after giving him a bonus that doubled his pay. 

The group was given £48.2 million by DfID last year and has 37 other staff on six-figure salaries.

Yet even this is dwarfed by Save The Children International, also based in London, which has at least 80 staff on packages worth more than £100,000 collecting £10.7 million between them. 

The charity received £86 million from DfID in 2018 before it suspended bidding for Government funding after becoming embroiled in the scandal over alleged sexual abuse and inappropriate behaviour by staff.

DfID has pledged to stop ‘begging bowl barons’ ripping off taxpayers. Yesterday a spokesman said it was committed to achieving value for money for taxpayers but salaries were a matter for charity trustees.

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