The Punt: Because I'm worth it?
Published 21/12/2015 | 02:30
We all know that George Osborne is a busy man. Running the UK economy isn't an easy task, but it seems he feels he has a much tougher and time-consuming job than other cabinet ministers. Because he evidently needs the help.
Osborne, below, now employs 10 political staff - more than the foreign, home and defence secretaries combined.
He is second only to prime minister David Cameron in terms of personally-appointed advisers. Cabinet ministers usually have a maximum of two to supplement the non-political civil service.
A key figure in Osborne's campaign to replace Cameron is former BBC journalist Thea Rogers, who steered him to a new 'Caesar' haircut, put him on the 5:2 diet, and guided the hard-hat offensive that has seen him photographed on building sites around Britain.
She has been promoted to chief of staff and her salary increased to £98,000 a year, a raise of £28,750.
The pay of Tory political aides has gone up as well. The average annual compensation of so-called 'special advisers' has gone up 1.8pc to £87,500, compared to £85,981 under the coalition government in power until May.
The announcement was one of more than 380 by the British government on the final day parliament is sitting before rising for Christmas. That compares with 148 a week earlier.
Another document showed the Chancellor spent £11,000 taking RAF planes to meetings in Europe and Turkey between July and September.
Maybe our lads aren't so bad after all.
The managing director of JCDecaux Ireland is taking over the reins as president of the France Ireland Chamber of Commerce (FICC).
The FICC is a bilateral membership organisation providing services and networking events to encourage and facilitate the establishment of new French companies in Ireland and new Irish companies in France.
Joanne Grant joined JCDecaux Ireland in 1997 and was appointed MD in 2009. Previously, she worked for 12 years in the drinks industry in sales and marketing roles.
She was a member of the corporate fundraising committee of the Simon Community Northern Ireland for more than 15 years and joined the board in May 2012.
She has also been a member of the board of the Irish Cancer Society since October 2014.
The FICC is Ireland's third largest bilateral trade organisation, whose members include Air France KLM, Irish Distillers Pernod Ricard, Alstom Ireland, BNP Paribas, CACI, Caceis, CRH plc, JCDecaux, LK Shields Solicitors, Mazars, Sanofi, Schneider Electric Ireland, and Smurfit Kappa.
Stellar work by Stella
Global premium spirits business William Grant & Sons has confirmed that chief executive Stella David has decided to step down as CEO at the end of February and will be succeeded by current chief commercial officer Simon Hunt.
Ms David joined William Grant & Sons in August 2009 and has overseen growth of the company's award-winning portfolio of brands.
The company said she has decided it is now the time in her career to focus on building upon her existing portfolio of non-executive directorships.
Since joining the global spirits business and independent family distillers, Ms David has overseen the acquisition of Tullamore Dew Irish whiskey and Drambuie, the iconic Scotch whisky liqueur brand.
Glenn Gordon, chairman of William Grant & Sons, said the company was grateful for Ms David's enormous contribution to the business in recent years.