Sir Peter Mathieson’s expenses up £26,056 from last year to ‘maintain’ cat A listed house

What kind of eucalyptus tree costs £1,089 to maintain?

Sir Peter Mathieson’s expenses for 2022/23 have been revealed, with the VC’s total bill reaching £43,966, up from £17,910 in 2021/22 and £11,494 in 2020/21. This comes on top of Mathieson’s salary, which increased by £43,000 last year, taking his yearly salary to £406,000.

The Scotsman reports Mathieson’s £1.5 million Regent Terrace house underwent £24,188 of repairs this year, up from £5,852 in 2021/22, to maintain the category A listed property.

The costs also include £1,089 on landscaping for Eucalyptus tree works, out of the £1,359 for gardening work, repainting of a cast iron balcony, and redecoration of the home.

Amidst the energy and gas price hike in the UK, Mathieson’s energy bill more than doubled from £3,198 to £6,947, whilst his gas bill increased from £2,601 to £3,086.

This increased bill comes amid this year’s UCU action, which saw lecturers and tutors striking for better pay and pensions, leading to a five-month marking and assessment boycott where thousands of final-year students were unable to graduate with full degrees.

In response to the figures, UCU Scotland official Mary Senior said: “While so many workers at Edinburgh University are struggling to pay the rising costs of rent, energy and food bills, they see university bosses getting their gas and electricity paid, along with their window cleaning and gardening bills. The disparity between those at the top with the workers delivering the teaching, research and student support is as stark as ever.”

An Edinburgh University spokesperson said: “In common with most other universities, accommodation for the University of Edinburgh’s Principal and their immediate family is provided as part of the role.

“The principal’s residence is not used solely as a family home but also frequently as a venue for hosting formal university events, and as such, the institution covers fuel costs and costs for maintaining the building. The residence is used for official events to welcome international guests and dignitaries which strengthens the university’s global reputation and increases our partnerships and potential funding streams.

“The university is proud to be the custodian of many historic buildings, including the Principal’s residence, which was first built in the 1800s. To maintain the conservation of these buildings, we regularly review our estate and work closely with different contractors to ensure they are in good condition.”

Featured image via the BBC

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