Public Sector Rich List 2007

In November 2006 the TaxPayers' Alliance produced the first ever list of the richest people in the public sector.  The second edition of the annual Public Sector Rich List presents a list of the 300 most highly paid people in the public sector – people receiving remuneration packages of at least £150,000 a year in 126 government departments, quangos, other public bodies and public corporations.

Key findings

  • There is 1 person in the public sector – Adam Crozier, Royal Mail Chief Executive – who earns more than £1 million a year.
  • There are 17 people in the public sector earning above £500,000 a year.
  • There are at least 66 people earning above £250,000 a year (recent media reports suggest that some GPs are in this category).
  • The 300 people had an average pay rise of 12.8 per cent between 2005-06 and 2006-07.  This is three times average earnings growth (including bonuses) across the country, which fluctuates around 4 per cent and over six times the current 2 per cent government target for growth in pay for ordinary public sector workers.
  • The average total remuneration of the 300 people on the list is £237,564 per annum.  This works out at over £4,500 a week.  Although many people on the list are likely to work longer, based on a 35-hour week, this is equal to almost £130 an hour, or around £2.15 a minute.
  • The 10 most highly paid people in the public sector earn on average around 40 times the amount earned by someone starting out as a police officer, nurse or soldier.
  • There are 10 people involved in delivering the London 2012 Olympics on the list, including two in the top 10 highest remuneration packages overall.  Their packages average £325,000 per annum.
  • The 82 most highly paid people in the NHS earn an average of £181,956 each.  By comparison, the starting salary for a nurse is around £22,000.
  • Gordon Brown is only the 143rd highest paid person in the public sector.

Purpose of compiling the Public Sector Rich List 2007

  • Transparency.  People and organisations that receive large amounts of taxpayers’ money should be accountable to the public they serve.  Taxpayers should be able to judge for themselves whether the remuneration of senior officials represents good value for money.
  • Rewards for failure.  People in the public sector should be paid well for good performance.  But in far too many cases senior public sector officials are being paid over the odds for dreadfully poor performance, which in some cases would warrant a sacking in the private sector (see Table A1.2 for 10 examples).

Matthew Elliott, Chief Executive of the TaxPayers’ Alliance, said:

“Taxpayers have a right to know how much senior public sector officials are being paid because only then can we judge whether they deserve their remuneration.  Too often, public sector executives are rewarded handsomely even when they fail.  At a time when the Government is rightly aiming to restrain public sector pay increases to 2 per cent, these top officials shouldn’t be hiking their pay by six times as much.”

Download the Public Sector Rich List 2007 (PDF)

The top 10 public sector remuneration packages are shown below:


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