Local government chiefs to have salaries published
By Lucy Phillips
18 December 2009
Councils and police forces will have to disclose the names, pay and perks of all those earning more than £150,000, under legislation introduced today.
Communities secretary John Denham announced that from April 2010 475 local authority bodies in England would be legally required to publish the salary, bonus, pension value and any other perks of its top earners in their next statement of accounts. Details of any severance pay outs for those earning over £150,000 must also be included.
The move follows a commitment by the Prime Minister to clamp down on pay for senior civil servants. Councils are also subject to a public sector pay cap of 1% from 2011, as outlined in the Pre-Budget report.
Pay for town hall chief executives has risen by £40,000 in the last seven years, according to the Department for Communities and Local Government.
Denham said: ‘The taxpayer – the real pay boss – has a legitimate right to see this information and decide whether or not it is fair.’
The Local Government Association said it was right for top pay in local government to be subject to public scrutiny, but councils also needed ‘to employ the brightest and the best’. Chief executive John Ransford said: ‘Councils need talented people so they can improve on their record as the most efficient part of the public sector. In deciding salary levels they need to balance that with the need for all salaries to be demonstrably reasonable.’
The government also announced that the Audit Commission will investigate the ‘boomerang bosses’ in local government, or the practice that sees town hall chiefs walk off with big severance pay-outs after falling out with political leaders. The commission is expected to report back early in the New Year.
A recent survey by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) revealed that public sector workers remain optimistic about pay, despite new crack-downs by government. Over half (57%) of the public sector employees polled expected a pay rise next year that would be the same size or greater than they received this year.
CIPD reward adviser Charles Cotton said: ‘Public sector workers are clearly not sensing that the pay cloud storms are gathering. It looks like 2010 will prove to be the last hurrah of this gilded age.’