Government reveals 172 civil servants earn more than PM

David Cameron David Cameron has pledged to make government more transparent

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More than 170 civil servants are paid more than Prime Minister David Cameron's £142,500-a-year salary, according to Cabinet Office figures.

The salaries of those earning over £150,000 were revealed for the first time in a bid to aid transparency.

The government says increased transparency on senior pay will "help win back people's trust".

Office of Fair Trading chief executive John Fingleton, whose annual package is up to £279,999, is the top earner.

This package includes taxable benefits and allowances.

NHS chief executive David Nicholson earns up to £259,999 and the IT Director General and Chief Information Officer at the Department for Work and Pensions, Joe Harley, gets £249,999.

The BBC's Mike Sergeant said some "ambitious civil servants" might be tempted to use the list of salaries to "push for higher rewards".

"The government hopes the opposite will happen - that revealing these names will create public pressure to keep senior pay down across Whitehall," our correspondent added.

Top earners

  • John Fingleton, Office of Fair Trading - £279,999
  • David Nicholson, NHS - £259,999
  • Joe Harley, Department for Work and Pensions - £249,999
  • Air Chief Marshal Sir Jock Stirrup, Ministry of Defence - £244,999
  • Sir Gus O'Donnell, Cabinet Office - £239,999

The salary and perks packages were revealed as part of a government pledge to give the public more access to official information.

Some 28 of those earning over £150,000 are in the Ministry of Defence, but just three are based in the Department for Transport.

Permanent secretaries - who head up government departments - are paid between £150,000 and £200,000 a year.

Mr Cameron has set out a series of items Whitehall departments must make public in a bid to remove what he called a "cloak of secrecy" around government.

Cabinet Office Minister Francis Maude said: "By being open and accountable we can start to win back people's trust.

"Openness will not be comfortable for us in government, but it will enable the public to hold our feet to the fire. This way lies better government."

Start Quote

There's plenty for Mr Cameron to turn his mind to in the field of opening up data”

End Quote Martin Rosenbaum BBC freedom of information expert

He added that "transparency" is key to the coalition government's efficiency drive and will enable the public to help "deliver better value for money in public spending".

Meanwhile, Matthew Elliott, chief executive of the TaxPayers' Alliance, said the move to publish public spending data "is long overdue but is nevertheless extremely welcome".

"Taxpayers have a right to know how their money is being spent and anyone earning a large amount of money in government should have their pay packet open to public scrutiny, so people can judge whether they are providing good value for money," he said.

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