Ministers act on our Public Sector Rich List

Following the publication last week of our most comprehensive ever Public Sector Rich List, it is clear that our landmark research into the pay, perks, pensions and pay-offs of those at the top of the public sector has not only set the news agenda, but is directly influencing government policy.

Working in conjunction with the Daily Mail investigations unit, our research scored a hat trick of front pages in the paper and much more great coverage besides (more details of which can be found here). But our greatest success is the response we have had from those in charge of the nation’s purse strings.

Last Monday, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, promised to write to all local authorities to set new rules on pay and perks, adding:

“What [the TaxPayers’ Alliance research] shows is the scope that remains for savings at a time when budgets need to be trimmed. We’re determined to do all we can to rein in excess where we find it.

“So we will claw back redundancy payments for high earners who leave and then return to the public sector within a year – and change the law so that public sector pay-offs are capped at £95,000 even for the highest-paid public servants.”

And the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, Greg Clark, commented on the perks of town hall employees saying:

“At a time when every part of the public sector is making savings, councils must apply that same logic not just to the pay for senior staff, but also their benefits.”

Today the Daily Mail has further details of how the Government is planning to respond to our work, reporting that ministers will be asked to “take the axe to six-figure pay-offs and pensions in a move that could save the taxpayer billions”.

Details will be put before the Cabinet’s public sector expenditure committee, but specific proposals mooted in the report include:

  • A cap on pay-offs for public sector bosses
  • A review of sickness pay entitlement
  • A 10 per cent cut in agency staff spending
  • Changes in the progression payments that give guaranteed pay rises
  • Cuts in the pension entitlements of staff who take early retirement

This is in addition to the (yet to be implemented) Conservative manifesto commitment to limit severance pay-offs to £95,000 which today’s Mail hints may be reduced further as a result of our work.

These new proposals emanating from the Government not only vindicate the TPA’s campaigning but could potentially save taxpayers billions of pounds in the coming years. This is good news as savings simply have to be made if the nation is to live within its means once again.


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