The weekend saw another victory in the drive for transparency in how taxpayers' money is spent. After the Conservatives a month ago and the Labour Party a fortnight ago, the Lib Dems have completed the hat-trick by committing to publishing the details of senior public employees' pay and perks.
This shows the great benefit of having the parties in competition to satisfy public demand. Our work in recent years to publicise the high - and swiftly rising - levels of senior salaries through the Town Hall Rich List and the Public Sector Rich List made this an issue, and created a public demand for more transparency on the topic.
As soon as the Tories made a pledge on publishing council senior remuneration, the Government had to follow suit to avoid being outflanked, and the Lib Dems have done the same. The next step is to encourage them to go further.
Interestingly, the quality of the three parties' pledges is not uniform, and there is more levelling-up to do. Here is the detail for each of the three:
Labour: Full publication of pay and perks for senior local government staff
Conservative: Full publication of pay and perks for senior local government staff, and detailed transparency of public spending in general
Liberal Democrat: Full publication of pay and perks for senior staff throughout the public sector
So all three agree that town hall senior staff should have their remuneration published. However, the Lib Dems are lagging behind the Tories in transparency on wider public spending, the Tories are lagging behind the Lib Dems on publishing the remuneration of senior staff in the public sector beyond town halls, and the Government are lagging behind both parties on both counts.
The public want to see how their money is spent, the technology is easily available to do so and such transparency can bring great benefits in terms of accountability. The first hat trick shows that the campaign is working - we must now press on for more.