Gordon Brown Attacks Public Sector Pay

Gordon Brown (Telegraph) – GORDON BROWN HAS ADMITTED there is a “culture of excess” in the public sector and promised to curb the salaries paid to civil servants, quango chiefs, council leaders and BBC executives.

Following similar Conservative pledges, the Prime Minister said that any public sector salary above £150,000 will now need formal ministerial approval.

According to the analysis from the Taxpayers’ Alliance, a pressure group, at least 806 people in the public sector earned more than £150,000 last year. Eight are earning more than £1m.

In a speech setting out plans to cut £3 billion of Whitehall costs, Mr Brown said that in recent years, some public sector pay packages have “lost touch” with political reality.

“Public service is admirable, important and it deserves fair reward and we must never forget that our priority is excellence at the front line. But in the wider public sector, some senior pay and perks packages have lost sight with this goal and lost touch with the reality of people’s lives,” he said.

He added: “Money which should be spent on health, schools, policing and social services is in some cases going on excessive salaries and unjustified bonuses far beyond the expectations of the majority of workers.

“This culture of excess must change and will change.”

The Prime Minister said that any new public sector appointment with a salary above £150,000 will now need formal approval from the Treasury. So too will any contract that could pay a bonus of more than £50,000.

The pledge echoes a Tory promise that any public sector salary in excess of the £191,000 paid to the Prime Minister would have to be approved by the Chancellor.

Mr Brown also said that any public sector employee who earns more than £150,000 will be named. Public bodies will have to identify how many people are in each pay band above £50,000.

Signalling that he wants the BBC to curb pay to its executives, he said he wanted the same approach to be applied by “publicly-funded media”.

Mr Brown also announced that he will cut the total pay bill of the senior civil service by 20 per cent, saving £100 million a year.

Proclaiming a “third generation” of public service reforms, he also promised to make data about the performance and nature of public services online and freely available, allowing taxpayers to make better decisions about services and put pressure on the state to improve underperforming services.

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