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Abuse probe judge pay deal revealed

Published 13/07/2015

Judge Lowell Goddard will get flights to and from New Zealand as part of her deal
Judge Lowell Goddard will get flights to and from New Zealand as part of her deal

The judge leading the independent inquiry into historic child sex abuse will earn a salary of £360,000 a year.

Justice Lowell Goddard will also receive an annual rental allowance of £110,000 and £12,000 a year to cover utilities.

In addition the Home Office will cover the cost of four return flights from the UK to the judge's native New Zealand per year for her and her husband and a further two return flights from New Zealand to the UK for other immediate family members.

Details of the pay packet have been disclosed today after Justice Goddard formally opened the long-awaited probe last week.

The terms, published on the inquiry's website, state that her appointment will be for the duration of the inquiry.

It has been fixed for an initial period from April this year until December 2018 and can be extended by mutual agreement.

Making her opening statement last week, Justice Goddard said she hopes the inquiry's work will be completed by the end of 2020.

Home Secretary Theresa May, who established the probe last year, has approved a budget of £17.9 million for 2015/16.

The inquiry today set out details relating to its costs, disclosing that:

:: Panel members will receive £565 a day, with staffing costs accounting for 41% of the overall budget.

:: Costs relating to the set-up and running of offices across England and Wales make up 21% of the budget.

:: Operational costs, including safeguarding support, account for 17% of the budget.

Opening the inquiry on Thursday, Justice Goddard said £17.9 million is a "large sum" but she insisted it has been "carefully costed" and is "essential to meet the inquiry's core operational requirements".

The chairwoman said that child abuse "cannot be calculated in monetary terms", adding: "It is the inherent right of every child to experience a childhood free of sexual abuse and intimidation."

The inquiry - set up last July following claims of a high-level cover-up of abuse - has been beset by delays following the resignations of two previous chairwomen.

Justice Goddard said it will be Britain's largest ever public inquiry and issued a stark warning to individuals and institutions that they will face scrutiny "no matter how apparently powerful".

MP Keith Vaz, chairman of the Commons Home Affairs Committee, said: "I welcome Justice Lowell Goddard's openness and transparency in providing us with the information regarding her salary.

"The committee first requested this information on 11 February 2015 when Justice Goddard appeared before us for her pre-appointment hearing, but she did not yet have this information. We also requested this information from Theresa May when she appeared on 17 March 2015 but she refused to share it with the committee.

"I have noted the fact that if the inquiry lasts five years, as she suggests, Justice Goddard's personal package is likely to amount to more than £2.4 million.

"It is also important that we have a breakdown of the legal costs, as it has been suggested that a number of lawyers will be involved."

A Home Office spokesman said: "The Home Secretary established the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse to examine the extent to which state and non-state institutions in England and Wales have failed in their duty to protect children.

"We welcome the fact that Justice Goddard is leading the Inquiry's important work and grasping this once-in-a-generation opportunity to get to the truth, expose what has gone wrong in the past and learn lessons for the future.

"Justice Goddard has a high level of relevant experience and expertise and as she said herself last week - this is the most ambitious public inquiry ever established in England and Wales."

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