Friday, February 01, 2008

Locals Councils say, "there is little difference between money and water."

The ever-reliable and incredibly voluble Taxpayers' Alliance (only formed in 2004) has produced another of their spiffy reports on Local Government spending. This one looks at the rising cost of "middle management"—defined as those paid more than £50,000 per annum—and the keys findings are illuminating.
This second paper [PDF] examines the increase in town hall spending on middle and senior managers – those being paid at least £50,000 per annum. Local authority accounts reveal that over the past decade councils have hired a new class of middle and senior management and then increased their pay and benefits packages much faster than the economy-wide average.

It is of course quite normal that wages should increase above the rate of inflation in a growing economy, and, over time, we would expect more people to earn £50,000 and above. But the increase in the number of local authority employees being paid more than £50,000 per annum has been phenomenal, far outstripping the rate of increase in the economy as a whole.

Key Findings:
  • The average local authority is employing over nine times as many people on £50,000-plus packages as ten years ago—66 people in 2006–07 compared with 20 people in 2001-02 and 7 people in 1996-97.

  • By contrast, in the economy as a whole, the number of people earning more than £50,000 has increased by less than three times over the past ten years.

  • The average local authority spent over £4 million employing people on £50,000-plus remuneration packages last year.

  • The total bill for council middle and senior managers on £50,000-plus remuneration packages was almost £2 billion last year almost £1 in every £11 of total council tax revenues.

  • The remuneration of local authority middle and senior management is racing past that of MPs. There were 12,600 local authority middle and senior managers being paid at least £60,000 last year—equal to or exceeding the £60,277 salary of MPs in November 2006.

It's quite a bit of cash, and The Grauniad's site has another 91 local government jobs listed right now!

But who cares, eh? It's Magic MoneyTM that falls from the sky...


Bag said...

I wish you hadn't done that comparison to MP's wages. They will be using that to force a revisit to their recently agreed negotiations.

Paul said...

Round here about a year ago one of the innumerable consultancy exercises actually bore fruit. This was in West Norfolk District Council (basically Kings Lynn area) and resulted in the removal of TWENTY-NINE middle managers.

WTF were they doing - especially given that we already have a county council which does most of the work ?

Needless to say, life carried on without them.