Net Zero: the latest wave of public sector non-jobs

By Sara Rainwater, operations director


We saw from the news this weekend that there are hundreds of NHS bosses being paid more than the PM. Whether it’s highly paid middle managers or controversial diversity tsars, politicians have done a poor job of keeping an eye on the public sector workforce.  


Harry Fone and Dr David Bull discuss six-figure NHS pay


And the problem is getting worse. A friend sent me a link to an ad recently for a job in the NHS, specifically for a “Head of Sustainability and Net Zero”. What a grand title. And what a grand salary! At £93,735 - £108,075 per annum, this is comfortably above the earnings of most of the taxpayers who will pay for it. 


And this was advertised right before your national insurance contributions (NIC) are about to rise by 1.25 percentage points, which could leave working taxpayers facing a bill of £4,662.


Surely this is a one off? I searched for other “net zero” related jobs on the same NHS job site and found others: 



The prime minister insists that “every penny” raised from the NIC hike will be spent on improving social care and cutting NHS waiting lists. Sounds wonderful, eh!


But I can’t help but wonder how the NHS can justify such salaries for jobs that aren’t going to help cut waiting times, or improve social care? Jobs that are (in theory) only going to help this government achieve a “multiyear plan Delivering a ‘Net Zero’ National Health Service to become the world’s first carbon net zero national health system”


It seems to me that - instead of making you and I cough up to pay for the backlog - health bosses should be minded to look at their existing plans and see what areas of savings can be made. Savings that could then be transferred to the frontline to help alleviate that massive backlog. 


April is going to be a painful month for a lot of people as the cost of living crisis ramps up another notch and, as we all prepare to pay 1.25 per cent more in NICs, seeing this kind of wasteful spending will feel like a kick in the teeth for many. 

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