Malcolm Turnbull is best paid global leader according to IG consultancy

28 May 2018 3 min. read

IG Group has released a ranking of OECD leaders and their paychecks for holding the top job in their respective countries. The index, titled ‘Pay Check’, analyses the annual earnings of the country’s leader as well as the head of state and compares them to the country’s GDP, population and average earnings.

Malcolm Turnbull earns an annual wage of $527,854 per annum, which is higher than any other Head of Government in the OECD.

The Australian Prime Minister is not only paid the most out of any world leader outright, he also appeared second on the list when comparing his annual wage to the country’s average wage. 

The figures, which were compiled by consultancy firm IG Group, an online trading and investments specialist, give an insight into the state of economic affairs and the value of political status in OECD countries. The data was sourced openly from the OECD and excludes any additional leadership perks like housing or bonuses.

Malcolm Turnbull is best paid global leader according to IG consultancy

Official portrait of Malcolm Turnbull, Prime Minister of Australia (Source: Commonwealth of Australia)

Turnbull earns just under ten times the wage of the average Australian, which, according to the consultancy, is just over $69,000. This figure is only slightly less than Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto who, whilst earning $361,000 less than the Australian PM, earns on average 10.89 times more than the average Mexican wage.

Only Heads of State have a more unequal share of annual earnings in comparison to the average wage, including; Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands (20x), Japanese Emperor Akihito (78x) and Queen Elizabeth II (2500x). 

The list also features Monarchs and Heads of State, with Queen Elizabeth II topping the charts with £76 million as a base pay annually. The Queen receives a renumeration package or Sovereign Grant of 15% on earnings from the Crown Estate, a portfolio of agricultural and industry properties which last year made £392 million. This year however, the Queen’s pay check will increase to over £82 million due to the increasing profits of the Crown Estate.

The news comes after Australian politicians last year received a 2% pay rise which pushed the PM’s earnings up a $10,000. The average Australian member of parliament earns around $200,000 a year, which is more than the Head of Governments in Turkey, Italy or Spain.

The average cabinet member earning $350,000 a year takes home the same as the Canadian and Danish PMs, while the opposition leader Bill Shorten earns just a fraction less than Felipe VI, the Monarch of Spain. 

The Pay Check Index also attempts to place the earnings in a broader perspective. If Malcolm Turnbull’s wage was to be split up and divided by each Australian, each would receive $0.02 extra per person. Turnbull’s paycheck may be among the highest in the world, but it does not compare to the wage of Australia’s top CEOs who earn roughly 78 times more than the average Australian.

Measured against GDP, the wage of the Australian Prime Minister is on the more equal end of the spectrum. Australia last year generated over $1.5 trillion, which when you take the PM’s wage, equals $0.44 for every million dollars in Australian GDP. 

Jacinda Ardern however, on the other end of the spectrum, takes home $2.43 for every million dollars the country earns, making New Zealand the fifth most unequal country when comparing leader’s earnings with economic output.