Bloomberg’s Rob Hutton has a reputation as a demon with figures (it is he who compiles the annual MP’s expenses spreadsheet for the lobby) and it seems when he was digging into the Smith Institute’s charity returns he spotted something Guido and the rest had missed. He whipped his calculator out and deduced that for producing a couple of pamphlets Ed Ball’s probably got a £100,000 bung:
Accounts on file at the Charity Commission don’t specify what Balls was paid. They show that in 2005 the institute’s wage bill rose to £156,501 pounds from £48,278 pounds in 2004. The accounts note that one person was paid more than £50,000 pounds that last year. Stevenson confirmed in an interview that this was Balls.
“We want to hire the best people – that’s why we hired Ed Balls,” Stevenson told Bloomberg“When he left the Treasury in 2004, every think tank in the country wanted him”.
Believe that and you’ll believe any old balls. He has a reputation as being unpleasant to work with, hot-headed and a slave to his master’s will. What independent think tank would want him? Clearly despite his closeness to the Chancellor and former position at the top of the treasury, no investment bank was willing to snap him up. That in itself tells you something about Ball’s popularity in the City…