British judges get biggest pay rise in nearly a decade after ministers agreed to £3,600 hike to their £181k salaries – and they could get even more
- Hike will mean High Court judges could get as much as £60,000 extra in pay
- That will result in their salaries shooting up to £240,000 (32 per cent increase)
- Government could be set to offer more in a special review of judicial pay
Judges were handed their biggest pay rise for nearly a decade yesterday – with the prospect of much more to come.
Ministers approved an immediate increase of two per cent, backdated to April – enough to add £3,631 to the £181,566 salary of a High Court judge.
And Lord Chancellor David Gauke promised to give ‘careful consideration’ to major increases of up to 60 per cent recommended by a special review of judicial pay.
The bumper rises – revealed by the Daily Mail earlier this month – would mean 32 per cent on the pay of a High Court judge, taking his or her salary up by £60,000 to £240,000.
Judges were handed their biggest pay rise for nearly a decade yesterday. File image of judges queuing to enter annual judges service at Westminster Palace
The report by the Senior Salaries Review Body said judges have lost trust in the Government and feel betrayed because of cuts to their pension scheme. It said too few lawyers are ready to make the financial sacrifices required to take up a judicial job at present pay rates.
On average, it reported a lawyer who has accepted the £181,566 salary of a High Court judge was earning £554,822 a year in private practice.
And the report blamed the Government for making judges feel unloved and exposed to criticism ‘without the political support for the rule of law and the legal process that they were entitled to expect’.
Mr Gauke said the two per cent pay rise approved yesterday was ‘the biggest for judges in nearly ten years.’ However, it fell short of the 2.5 per cent called for by the review body.
The Lord Chancellor added: ‘This is in line with the pay awards announced recently for other vital public servants. It has been reported that judges could be awarded significantly higher pay increases.
‘This recommendation, along with many others, was made by the SSRB as part of a major review of judges pay, quite separate to the annual pay increase I am announcing today. No decisions have yet been made.
Judges at all levels are recruited from serving legal professionals. However, the difficulties filling vacancies have been described as unprecedented.
Lord Chancellor David Gauke (pictured earlier this month) promised to give ‘careful consideration’ to major increases of up to 60 per cent recommended by a special review of judicial pay