Friday 4 December 2009


I received an email today from the Taxpayers’ Alliance informing me that their Rich List has been published. I thought that some of the facts were of interest and so, with a head nod to the TPA, I reprint some of their mail here.

Today sees the release of our hotly anticipated Public Sector Rich List, the fourth annual list in the series. Every year since we produced the first Rich List in 2006, the number of public sector staff earning over £150,000 has risen, and their average pay and perks has jumped. And of course this year the list features a golden dusting of bankers, to join the quangocrats, senior public executives and other fat cats.

With the recession still hammering ordinary people, and a crisis in the public finances, the Public Sector Rich List is even more relevant than before. Encouragingly, our campaign against excessive pay and perks is starting to produce some results. All political parties are now publicly committed to tackling the problem of excessive pay for senior public sector staff. Harriet Harman recently blocked a £185,000 salary for the new Chief Executive of the Equality and Human Rights Commission. George Osborne has said that “anyone who wishes to pay a public servant more than the Prime Minister will have to put it before the Chancellor”. Vince Cable has said that “pay restraint should start at the top”. We are going continuing to press for this rhetoric to be matched with a serious crack down on inflated pay at the top of the public sector and rewards for failure. We are demanding a new era of transparency, accountability and restraint, and we can achieve that if we keep up the pressure.

Here are some of the key findings:

• At least 806 people receiving remuneration packages of £150,000 or more a year in 2008-09 across 358 government departments, quangos, public corporations, other public bodies and nationalised industries.

• Executive pay in the public sector has risen so much that Gordon Brown as Prime Minister is only the 324th best paid person in the public sector.

• Senior staff at the bailed out banks feature for the first time in the Rich List. The most highly paid person in the public sector this year is Mark Fisher of the Royal Bank of Scotland, whose remuneration was £1,388,000, and there are 30 bankers who appear in the list in total.

• Adam Crozier of Royal Mail is the highest paid non-bank employee in the public sector, earning £1,309,000.

• The average total remuneration of the 806 people on the list is almost £225,990 per annum. This works out at over £4,700 per week.
Even without the bankers, the average remuneration package on our list is £209,151.

• The BBC has at least 53 people on £150,000 or over. Transport for London has 50 members of staff on or above £150,000. In comparison, the Treasury, the main Government department responsible for tackling the recession, has a modest 3 people in the Rich List.

• There are 8 people in the public sector who earn more than £1 million a year, compared with 4 people last year. There are 35 people in the public sector earning above £500,000 a year compared with 21 last year. There are 120 people earning above £250,000 a year compared with 88 last year.

• The average pay rise of the people with remuneration for 2007-08 and 2008-09 is 5.4 per cent. This is compared to a pay rise of 2.7 per cent for a nurse and 2.3 per cent for a teacher.

John O’Connell, Policy Analyst at the Tax Payers’ Alliance and author of the new Public Sector Rich List, said:

Executive pay in the public sector is completely divorced from the reality of Britain’s fiscal crisis. Ordinary families, struggling to make ends meet in the recession, don’t pay their taxes to fund gold-plated deals for public sector fat cats. All parties now agree that excessive pay packages must be tackled but the time for action is now, not next year. Taxpayers want genuine transparency, accountability and restraint in setting top public sector pay.”

I think that Mr O'Connel hit the nail on the head when he said that the executive pay in the public sector is completely divorced from the reality of Britain's financial crisis. The party goes on for these people while life is tumbling down for so many of the rest of us. I'd be interested in other people's opinions. (The full report can be seen by clicking on the title of this piece.)


  1. Ah - it's good to be part of the elite!

  2. Is it Scunnert? YOu must tell me all about it sometime.....

    btw, I read somewhere that you're reconsidering jacking in your blog... Something I was delighted to read. :-)

  3. Damn, missed the list by a guinea and a groat - note to self - must get tips on filling in expenses forms but who do I turn to?

  4. Brownlie: I'm told a certain Mr Viggers will be shortly looking for a suitable position. Nothing very, er taxing, obviously, but I'm sure he has a deal of expertise in these matters, and he certainly has a neck of brass. You never know, you may, by next year, be the proud owner of a duck house....


  5. Is el duce on that list? Is it ok to call the first minister names? I don't suppose the rabid trolls and slavering blog SS will care to much about that. In which case is it ok to compare people with prominent fascists and dictators?

    Is Lord Foulkes...... I cannot think of a fascist or a dictator that is sufficiently comic to merit a comparison. Not Caligula, too mad for that, not Nero, he is only good at non-musical fiddling, not Hitler, too hirsute enough, oh well I will leave it up to you.

    P.S: Please note that all views expressed in this post are merely the opinions of the author; at no time does the author seriously expect people to confuse Lord Foulkes with Caligula, Nero or Hitler, although in the interests of fairness their are other fascists and dictators who could be compared to the good Baron. This disclaimer does not affect your statutory rights.

  6. Munguin: You'll need to refer to your Collectors' Book of Dictators.

  7. "Is Lord Foulkes...... I cannot think of a fascist or a dictator that is sufficiently comic to merit a comparison"

    I think Lord Foulkes as a dicator is utterly terrifying, I am sure us lot would be the first to be strung up for our 'disloyalty' to our 'class'...

    But in regards to this rich list, does it make any seperation between those of private sector wealth or public sector wealth? I personally think that this is a very important point; as it is good to know which people our tax money is making wealthy!

  8. The list is all public sector Dean.

    I'm not sure that they care that much about the private sector. The only reason the bankers are included is that, as their companies are largely state owned, they pretty much qualify as civil servants.

    Any thought of Mr Foulkes is frightening as far as I am concerned.

  9. Tris,

    Ah right, I was confused because bankers were included- I forgot that we have defacto nationalised the UK financial sector! Thanks for reminding me what a worrying time we live in... ;P

    But yes, Lord Foulkes...I hear he is stepping down next Holyrood election, good news then.

  10. Dean I am not sure which class you have Lord Foulkes down for as he went to the private Haberdashers School in Borehamwood and then on to Edinburgh University so not exactly the most obvious working class start that is even more the case as he is now an exalted personage in the House of Lords. He is certainly no class warrior as he seems to have abandoned his own for a rose tinted and skewed version of all of them jumbled together without any rhyme or reason. For example a Champagne socialist if ever there was one, a republican in the House of Lords who is more than happy to bend the knee whenever Brenda or her blood sucking (in my opinion) brood turn up.

  11. Dean:

    It's easy to forget that the banks were nationalised. It's rather a strange thing to have civil servant earning that kind of money. It kinda knocks into touch the notion that they are badly paid and that is why they have to be compensated with fabulous pensions, knighthoods and seats in the House of Lords.

    Oh well, yes. It is indeed good news that wee Georgie is stepping down to devote more time to his... erm... well, doubtless to something.

    Can you just imagine though, some of the superannuated horrors that will be there in his place after Labour are slaughtered in the UK elections...? Browne, Murphy, Devine..... Lord, it hurts to even think about how they will drag our paliament down.