Mark Carney's wife under fire in U.K. over housing tweet
Published Wednesday, March 27, 2013 10:41PM EDT
Last Updated Wednesday, March 27, 2013 11:45PM EDT
Diana Carney, the wife of Canada’s outgoing top banker, sparked outrage in Britain this week when she suggested that she’s having a hard time finding a house in London even though her husband will get a $400,000 housing allowance on top of a hefty salary as the Bank of England governor.
Mark Carney’s wife reportedly posted a link to her private Twitter account about the possibility of fewer wealthy French citizens settling in England and driving up real estate prices. She wrote: “Maybe I’ll be able to find a place to live in London after all.”
The Twitter account belonging to Diana Carney, vice-president of research at the think-tank Canada 2020, is protected, meaning only approved followers can see her tweets.
But her comment made the rounds in U.K. media, prompting headlines like: “Does Diana Carney Dare to Joke About £250,000 housing budget” and “That’s rich.”
Carney’s controversial appointment as the Governor of the Bank of England – he is the first foreigner to take the helm – became even more contentious after it was revealed that he will receive a salary of 480,000 pounds, or $770,400, plus a housing allowance of 250,000 pounds, or $401,250.
The housing allowance breaks down to about $7,700 per week.
While it’s true that a six-bedroom home like the one the Carneys have in Ottawa can cost as much as $30,000 per week in desirable areas of London, British residents hit hard by the recession were not amused by the tweet.
“I suspect the fact that Mrs. Carney has kind of jokingly talked about this on Twitter suggests she hasn’t realized the amount of money they’re taking from the British taxpayer,” said Jonathan Isaby of the TaxPayers’ Alliance.
Carney, who assumes his new post on July 1, has defended his compensation, saying he’s moving from one of the least expensive capitals in the world to one of the most expensive. He also pointed out that he hasn’t accepted a pension package and that’s why he’ll be making more in salary than his predecessor, Mervyn King.
With a report from CTV’s Ben O’Hara-Byrne in London