Nice work if you can get it. According to the ‘Town Hall Rich List’ compiled by the TaxPayers’ Alliance, at least 2,314 staff were taking home a six figure pay packet in 2015/16. That’s 89 more than last year.
539 public servants were even more richly rewarded, earning a whopping £150,000 a year, up 53 on the previous year.
John O’Connell, chief executive of the group, said: “The average council tax bill has gone up by more than £900 over the last 20 years and spending has gone through the roof.
“Disappointingly, many local authorities are now responding to financial reality through further tax rises and reducing services rather than scaling back top pay.
“Despite many in the public sector facing a much-needed pay freeze to help bring the public finances under control, many town hall bosses are continuing to pocket huge remuneration packages, with the number of people on six-figure deals actually going up since last year.
“There are talented people in the public sector who are trying to deliver more for less, but the sheer scale of these packages raises serious questions about efficiency and priorities.”
Southwark Council topped the list, with 44 of its staff on a six figures salary (25 more than last year). However it has stiff competition for next year as 68 other councils have at least 10 employees earning over £100,000.
Dave Smith, Sunderland City Council’s chief executive, won the prize for the local government employee with the biggest pay packet, who took home a whopping £625,570, which included a pay-off of £185,470 and pension contributions totalling £331,414.
According to the report, in total Sunderland spent £1,676,023 on just three employees. London was unsurprisingly the area with the largest number of employees earning more than £100,000, at 450. The South East came a distant second, with 368.
Spare a thought for Wales where just 102 employees took home six-figures sums, the smallest regional figure.
The group added that their figure of 2,314 was “likely to be an understatement” because of inconsistencies in how councils presented the data.