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Thursday, 2 April 2009

Sending a signal to the public sector fat cats

I've written before about Labour's 'Greed is Good' culture at the top of the public sector; to misquote Mandelson, Labour is intensely relaxed about senior public sector managers making themselves wealthy at the taxpayer's expense. Over the past decade, top salaries and rewards have doubled from being about 5 - 6 times a base level employee's reward to 10 or 12 times. With final salary pension schemes, these fat cats will be creaming disproportionate rewards from the public purse. We may not be able to end this culture overnight, but we can all help to bring the spotlight of publicity on the names and the faces.

I'd urge readers therefore to respond to this Local Government consultation.

The proposals are to require councils to name senior staff and provide a full breakdown of their salary, pensions and rewards. The consultees on the government's official list will mostly have an inbuilt bias against disclosure; they will lobby for their continued anonymity on the basis of Fred Goodwin's windows, and seek to restrict the information made available on the grounds of the risks of information and identity theft. I shall be responding as follows;
  • Support fully the disclosure of all the reward elements listed at the level of detail proposed
  • Would support extent of reporting at Chief and first-tier officer levels, and would encourage government to widen this to include any permanent or contract staff earning over £100,000 at 2009 / 2010 value (i.e. fully identified and full details given)
  • Support fully anonymous banding of other staff earning over £50k in £5k bands subject to above (i.e. anonymous reporting from £50k to £100k)
I repeat, the consultation as issued has an inbuilt bias against implementation; the civil servant's letter asks specifically of councils that "you could ensure that copies of this letter are shared with officers / employees within your organisation who may have an interest in the proposals (i.e. have details about their remuneration package published). Individuals' views will also be considered in response to the consultation"

In other words, they're inviting every senior council fat cat in the country to write in on an individual basis to object to the proposals.

So please send your own (polite) signal. Our voices will make a difference.


The Great Simpleton said...

Seems fair enough. They want to be paid like Directors of listed companies, give themselves titles like Directors of listed companies and lorded like Directors of public companies.

The only concession I would make is to give them 12 months notice so that those who really object have a reasonable time to find another job and resign.

Anonymous said...

I have responded using the email link, thus:


Given the very clear rules governing salaries and benefits for directors in the private sector, I see no reason why senior employees (say, over £50,000 salary per annum) should not disclose salaries and the job attached to that salary within the public sector – after all, it’s the private sector that pays for this. In fact, given the legal precedent in the private sector (to publish accounts with director remunerations and fringe benefits in full) it would serve only to fuel public skepticism if secrecy in this matter prevailed.

it's either banned or compulsory said...

The G20 has announced worldwide limitations on bankers remuneration, since public officials for years have been demanding " equal pay " with similar positions within the private sector, it's about time they got limited too.