Pay restraint

Good to see that the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) have realised that they've been overpaying their Chief Executive. The newly advertised role will see the head of the quango pick up £120,000 a year, as opposed to the salary of £185,000 Nicola Brewer received for the role. Still a healthy sum.

Public bodies need to show far more humility when setting these top salaries. When we produce analysis on executive pay in the public sector, organisations often tell us that they have to pay these high salaries to compete with the private sector and attract talent. If an organisation can simply knock £65,000 off a salary, that suggests their initial assessment of talent and what the private sector equivalent was worth was way off. By more than a third, in fact. As we say in our book How to cut spending (and still win an election), cutting the pay of the richest 10 percent in the public sector by 5 percent would save £1.2 billion. But as the EHRC have tacitly admitted, many are overpaid by far more than 5 percent.

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