The TaxPayers' Alliance (TPA) has 'proudly' presented its fourth list of those staff in local government whose remuneration exceeds £100,000 per annum.

The fourth Town Hall Rich List since its inception in 2007 shows just how much the pay of those in the upper echelons of local government has outstripped that of even the Prime Minister and his Cabinet colleagues.

It shows that the inexorable upward trend in salaries of the higher council employees keeps going despite the recession and hardships the rest of us are having to endure. In both the public and private sectors many other workers have had their pay frozen or, in some cases had pay or hours cut. The threat of redundancy for many has still not been lifted.

The rich list was compiled from a succession of Freedom of Information Act requests that the councils had to comply with. A previous attempt by the government to make this information widely known by legislative means was watered down after lobbying by public bodies.

The Conservatives have however pledged to make the details of any council worker known if their pay exceeds that of the entrance pay of a senior civil servant (currently circa £58,500).

The following key findings come directly from the TPA's website:

  • At least 1,250 council staff enjoyed remuneration of £100,000 or more in 2008-09. This is up from 1,099 in 2007-08, a 14 per cent increase.
  • There were 166 earning over £150,000 in 2008-09. This is up from 135 in 2007-08.
  • The average remuneration package for those on the Rich List was £125,745, or £2,418 a week.
  • The average pay rise for the people on our list was 5 per cent. This is compared with a 2.7 per cent pay rise for a nurse and 2.3 per cent pay rise for a teacher.
  • In 2008-09, 31 council staff earned more than the Gordon Brown, the Prime Minister. This is up from 19 people in 2007-08, a 63 percent increase. 219 received more money than cabinet ministers in 2008-09.
  • Based on our responses, the county council with the most staff earning £100,000 or more is Kent with 27. The metropolitan district with the most is Liverpool with 22.
  • The TPA also believe that Kent County Council are openly ignoring the Information Commissioner's assessment of the data protection position by not declaring some of the data requested for by the TPA.

Access to the full report can be gained here – www.taxpayersalliance.com/thrl2010.pdf.

What then happens though is that these senior council managers, who have enjoyed a recession busting salary, than have access to a nice gold plated final salary pension schemes far superior to anything else on the market. Public body officials are also extremely hard to get rid of should you want to. Either in the case of long term sickness, incompetence or redundancy, it would cost a fortune.

The public sector has traditionally been paid less than the private sector because of the other perks they get. Now some are paid even more than the head of the nation's Executive, the Prime Minister. Something has gone very askew on Gordon Brown's watch.

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