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FACT 1: Tower Hamlets – one of the poorest boroughs in the country – employs over 27 people earning more than £100,000pa.

FACT 2: The number of local government workers earning fat cat salaries is rising fast.  429 people were on over £100,000 last year.  578 people get over £100,000 this year.

FACT 3: The earnings of senior local government staff are rising three times faster than nurses.

FACT 4: The majority of local authorities are secretively still fighting to hide how they are spending council taxpayers’ money.

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Watch the 18 Doughty Street video below for a one minute summary of the TaxPayers’ Alliance‘s Local Government Rich List by its Head of Research, Corin Taylor. It’s followed by a minute showing the TPA’s Campaigns Director, Blair Gibbs, and ConservativeHome’s Samuel Coates getting into trouble with security whilst promoting the report outside the Tower Hamlets’ Town Hall.

The
full Town Hall Rich List can be downloaded from the TaxPayers’ Alliance website.

Click continue for an exclusive article by Corin Taylor on the report.

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"The security presence outside the corporate-looking headquarters of
Tower Hamlets council was impressive.  Our attempts to get near the
front doors with a few supporters, a placard and a hired Rolls Royce
were almost thwarted.  However, we were lucky to have a sympathetic
driver and the waiting press photographers got the shots they needed.
It just seems to be getting that much harder these days to get close to
anyone responsible for spending taxpayers’ money, let alone make a
simple protest outside a public building.

Our press stunt was designed to promote the new TaxPayers’ Alliance
report – The Town Hall Rich List – by targeting Tower Hamlets council,
one of the poorest boroughs in the country, who employed the most
people (27) above £100,000 and seemed to have the biggest case to
answer. This was one of the most surprising findings from our
research.  The poorest areas – where people find it most difficult to
pay their council tax – often employ the highest number of town hall
fat cats.

Following on from last November’s Public Sector Rich List, we conducted
extensive research using the Freedom of Information Act to obtain the
names, positions and total remuneration details of all staff earning
above £100,000 a year in 2004-05 and 2005-06 in 230 local authorities,
covering every corner of the United Kingdom.

Local authorities refuse to make this information publicly available in
their annual accounts, and we have encountered (through leaked emails…)
a coordinated cover-up attempt from a number of town halls, presumably
concerned that publication of this information will increase local
opposition to another round of above-inflation council tax increases. 

Nevertheless we have succeeded in obtaining responses from the vast
majority of local councils and can present the startling figures, which
illustrate the sheer scale of inflated pay for senior staff in local
government. There are 5 people in local councils who earn more than
£200,000 a year and 64 people in town halls who earn more than £150,000
a year. 

The number of people earning above £100,000 in local authorities is
increasing at an alarming rate.  There are 578 people on these “fat
cat” salaries, compared with 429 people the year before. Consequently,
the total pay bill for these senior staff stands at £72 million,
compared with £53 million the year before, an increase of 36 per cent.
Senior staff who feature on the Rich List in both 2004-05 and 2005-06
enjoyed an average pay rise of 6.1 per cent, three times the official
rate of inflation and far higher than the 1.9 per cent pay awards
granted to nurses last week. 

We have been battling with local councils to obtain the information for
months.  Our battle is not yet entirely won, and we are releasing the
Town Hall Rich List now to assist with our campaign to make local
authorities reveal just how they are spending taxpayers’ money.  A
minority of local authorities are still trying to cover-up this
information and prevent its release into the public domain, through
refusing to publish names and, endless delays and prevarications, and
various spurious reasons for refusal.  We urge local newspapers and
members of the public locally to assist us in putting pressure on these
recalcitrant local authorities to release full details of senior staff
pay.   

The TPA is appealing ourselves against a number of these recalcitrant
local authorities and plan to bring a case before the Information
Commissioner.  The principle should be established that details of
names, positions and total remuneration details of senior staff in the
public sector should be made publicly available.  After all, listed
companies are legally required to publish Directors’ basic salary,
benefits in kind, variable payments, company pension contributions,
total remuneration and a comparison with the previous year’s total.
Taxpayers have a right to know the same information. 

This is the first ever list of the highest paid people in local
government.  At least now a bit more light has been shed on exactly
where all that council tax money has gone."

45 comments for: The rise and rise of the local government fat cats

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