'Posh people will always spend a lot of money on furniture'
Steve Allen, comedian
- Credit: PA
Recently we have been asking: “Who's paying for that refurbishment?”
It’s normally a question you shout at the TV while watching some Changing Rooms-style TV show, adding: "If this is coming out of the licence fee, I'll stop paying mine."
This time it has been our prime minister and the cost of sprucing up where he lives.
The main question has been about who paid the initial invoice for the work but the question that people have been chatting about over a pint has been: "Why would Boris need to look elsewhere for money?"
Firstly, it’s expensive. There’s a basic £30,000 annual budget to do up the flat and that should be enough. If you paid more than that much to improve a flat you've probably been ripped off and I'll see you on TV with Dom Littlewood any day now.
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Before Boris Johnson became prime minister I remember there was a scandal about his neighbours hearing him and Carrie rowing, so a lot of that total £58,000 to refurbish Number 10 was probably spent on sound-proofing. But even then, £58,000 buys a lot of egg boxes.
Secondly, it’s alleged he’s having cash flow problems. One source says he can’t afford to be prime minister. He took a cut in earnings to take the job and now has to live off only £157,372.
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Boris defenders say it's not up to us how much he spends on interior design. They are right. Posh people will always spend a lot of money on furniture. They love dropping thousands on an occasional table. For that much money I’d demand a full-time one.
Living within your means should be at the heart of conservatism though. If you can't afford £800-a-roll wallpaper, get something a little more budget. I hear John Lewis have some nice items in.