Page last updated at 02:46 GMT, Friday, 18 December 2009

Top town hall earners to be named

Folded 20 note
Top earners will be named and banded in 5,000 increments

Councils and the police will be legally required to publish the names, pay and perks of all officers earning more than £150,000, under new regulations.

Communities Secretary John Denham is due to announce that they will cover 475 local authority bodies in England.

The move will bring council officials in line with civil servants and MPs.

The Local Government Association agreed pay should be open to public scrutiny but said councils with big budgets had to be able to attract the best staff.

'Boomerang bosses'

The new information to be made public in the local authorities' next annual statements of accounts includes salaries, bonuses, pensions, perks and severance pay-outs.

Individuals earning more than £150,000 will be named in £5,000 bands.

TOWN HALL TOP EARNERS
1,089 earn more than £100,000
16 earn more than the prime minister's £194,250
124 earn more than £150,000
193 earn more than Cabinet ministers' £137,579
Source: Taxpayers' Alliance

Mr Denham said the changes were the first step towards making council wage bills fairer and meet taxpayers' expectations.

Pressure group the Taxpayers' Alliance has been highly critical of so-called "recession-proof" rewards for senior council staff as private sector workers face tough pay deals or unemployment.

It has claimed 1,089 town hall staff earned more than £100,000, 16 took home more than the prime minister, who earns £194,250, and 124 people earned more than £150,000.

Mr Denham has also asked the Audit Commission to investigate "boomerang bosses" - chief executives who walk off with big severance pay-outs after falling out with the council's political leaders.

The probe, which is expected in the new year, will examine whether the practices are robust and value for money.

Bonus cap

The new regulations are being introduced as part of Prime Minister Gordon Brown's public sector pay review, ahead of next year's Budget.

The review will include recommendations on pay and bonus caps.

Councils are expected to deliver the already agreed pay cap of 1%.

The local authority bodies covered by the new level of scrutiny include London borough councils and county and district councils in England.

Other joint authorities include the Greater London Authority, national park authorities, waste authorities, Transport for London, and police and fire authorities.



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