Ha ha ha...
... Mr Pickles, the man who spends his life berating English councils for wasting taxpayers' money, has paid his own finance officer £580,000 for 16 months' work. That's around £432,000 a year.
When questioned by MPs about the generous wage, the permanent secretary of Mr Pickles' department, Bob Kerslake, said that he agreed that it was a lot of money, but that the consequences of not having the finances of the department run in a sound way would have been more expensive.
I take that to mean the the English Communities Department thinks that in order to run accounts in a sound way, it is necessary to pay the head accountant over £400,000 a year.
So does that mean that any of the councils in Mr Pickles' jurisdiction would be failing in their duty to have sound finances if they were paying their accountant less than that?
Or is it yet another example of Whitehall departments, which we in Scotland help to fund, being run by greedy incompetent idiots?