Rise in numbers of council workers on £100k plus, says research

11 Apr 17

The number of council employees earning more than £100,000 has increased while local authorities budgets are squeezed, according to analysis from the Taxpayers’ Alliance.

The campaign group has reviewed council accounts across England and found that 2,314 local authority workers were paid in excess of £100,000 in 2015-16 – a rise of 89 people on the previous year.

According to the research, 539 council employees earned more than £150,000 last year, an increase of 53 on the year before that.

Today the TPA released its tenth Town Hall Rich List, which gives a council by council breakdown of the top local authority earnings.

Publishing the figures, John O'Connell, TPA chief executive, said: “The average council tax bill has gone up by more than £900 over the last twenty years and spending has gone through the roof.

“Disappointingly, many local authorities are now responding to financial reality through further tax rises and reducing services rather than scaling back top pay.

“Despite many in the public sector facing a much-needed pay freeze to help bring the public finances under control, many town hall bosses are continuing to pocket huge remuneration packages, with the number of people on six-figure deals actually going up since last year.” 

He added: "There are talented people in the public sector who are trying to deliver more for less, but the sheer scale of these packages raise serious questions about efficiency and priorities."

The increase in top level pay comes amid reports that nine out of 10 local authorities in England have increased their council tax bills this month.  

Responding to the TPA report on senior pay in local government, Claire Kober, chair of the Local Government Association’s resources board, said:  “Councils are large, complex organisations with sizeable budgets and responsibility for delivering more than 700 services, including caring for the elderly and vulnerable and protecting children.

“It is important that the right people with the right skills and experience are retained to deliver this work.  

“Local government is committed to providing value for money to taxpayers and, nationally, incoming chief executives are being paid lower salaries than their predecessors’ and average chief executive salaries continue to decline year-on-year.  

“The pay of senior council staff is set by politically proportionate committees of elected councillors and is open to a high level of scrutiny and democratic accountability as a result.”

Comparison of regions by number of employees earning more than £100,000 From 2014-2015 and 2015-2016:

Council workers pay

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