Eric Pickles has already blocked a £240k salary for the new Audit Commission boss, and rightly so. The right figure is about half this.
These public sector fat cats are going to have to slim down - and quickly. Under Labour their snouts have been thrust deep in the trough, taking the differential between a basic admin grade and the top job from around 6x to around 12x. This also applies to the forces; a General should get about 6x a Lieutenant's wedge of £30k, about £180k.
So why should a full General get £60k a year more than the head of the Audit Commission? Well, because the pay multiple is based on the skills and ability of the basic grade - a £30k Lieutenant, rather than a £20k Admin Officer. And why should a Lieutenant get £10k more than a civil servant? Well, think in terms of who and what each are responsible for, the risk each faces and the consequences of the decisions made by each of them, and the physical and mental qualities required of each. The same differential applies at the top of each profession. Men don't die because the head of the Audit Commission misses a 0 off the end of a balance sheet.
So let the daylight flood in to illuminate the distortions.
The Hay Guide was developed in the US in then middle of the last century, but it still holds good for comparing the worth of jobs in large organisations and bureaucracies. Evaluating public jobs using the Hay Guide eliminates taste discrimination - and many of these bloated salaries are the result of positive taste discrimination by the Labour government - and ensures equity between as well as within public sector organisations.
And finally let's lose the myth that these troughing salaries are required to 'retain' people of high calibre in the public sector. They're not going anywhere.