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Last Updated: Friday, 3 November 2006, 12:18 GMT
1m public boss salaries 'crazy'
The Tories criticised the discrepancy between bosses and staff salaries
High salaries for public sector bosses have been criticised by the Conservatives as "crazily out of kilter" with frontline staff.

The average pay of the top 10 earners is about 40 times the starting salary of a nurse, research by the Taxpayers' Alliance suggests.

Ex Tube boss Bob Kiley, Royal Mail chief Adam Crozier and Network Rail's John Armitt get more than 1m a year.

Shadow minister Alan Duncan said pay should reflect "competence and risk".

The highest paid person on the Taxpayers' Alliance "public sector rich list" was former Transport for London boss Bob Kiley, earning 1,146,425. He left the job in January this year - three years earlier than expected.

Bob Kiley, Transport for London, 1,146,425
Adam Crozier, Royal Mail, 1,038,000
John Armitt, Network Rail, 1,027,000
Ian Coucher, Network Rail, 924,000
David Mills, Royal Mail, 816,000
Ron Henderson, Network Rail, 683,000
Peter Henderson, Network Rail, 678,000
Maria Cassoni, Royal Mail, 656,000
Michael Parker, British Nuclear Fuels, 635,751
Mark Thompson, BBC, 619,000
Source: Taxpayers' Alliance

The prime minister was listed at number 88, earning 186,429.

Mr Duncan, the shadow trade and industry spokesman, said: "When Bob Kiley is paid nearly ten times more than the prime minister, then the world has gone mad.

"People should be rewarded for their competence and the risks they take. A lot of these payments seem crazily out of kilter."

The other two 1m-plus earners on the campaign group's were Royal Mail's Adam Crozier and Network Rail chief executive John Armitt.

The alliance said the average salary of all those on the list was 259,701.

For the top 12 earners in the NHS, the average salary was 183,000 - compared with a starting salary for a nurse of about 19,000, it said.

Shadow chief secretary to the Treasury, Theresa Villiers, said: "If we're going to get good value for money for the taxpayer and ensure public spending is focused effectively on delivering front line services, the chancellor has to take a much tougher line on quangos and bureaucracy and he shouldn't be shelling out for million pound salaries."

The Taxpayers' Alliance, which counts Conservative donors Sir Anthony Bamford and Stuart Wheeler among its backers, was formed in 2004 to mobilise grassroots pressure for lower taxes.

It used information about salary, bonuses, incentive plans, benefits-in-kind and pension contributions, where applicable, as recorded in official publications, to compile its list.

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