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Page last updated at 09:00 GMT, Wednesday, 1 December 2010

'Cap public pay ratios at 20 to 1'


A review of public sector pay says no civil servant should receive more than 20 times the wages of the lowest paid employee in the same organisation.

Will Hutton, formerly of the Work Foundation, who wrote the review, told Today presenter John Humphrys that "the idea is to be able to say to the world at large to taxpayers at large 'there are boundaries within which public sector pay is set from top to bottom. The public sector is a fair pay part of the UK'".

And he rejected the assertion that such multiples were meaningless, saying that the public and private sectors were "fishing in the same pool for talent".

"At the moment," he said "you're asking people at the top of the public sector to work at very heavy discounts" compared to the private sector.

"The person running the Home Office gets paid £200,000. It's £10 billion that he's managing. A £10 billion corporation in Britain, you get paid £2.5 million. There comes a point at which actually people start to say: 'What am I going to do with my life? What am I going to do with my career?'".

The Chief Executive of Waverley Borough Council, Mary Orton, whose basic annual pay is £109,008, told the programme that she earned 7.5 times more that the lowest-paid worker in her council.

And she insisted that "things are not getting out of hand" in local government and that a multiplier was neither necessary or appropriate, because the sector was self-regulated and pay levels were set by local councils.

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