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.
- 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...