Police and crime commissioners may get £100,000 a year
Home Secretary Theresa May has been told to pay elected police and crime commissioners between £65,000 and £100,000 a year.
The new posts, which will be created at the head of 41 police forces in England and Wales, are part of a government flagship policy.
The government says it will make police forces more accountable to the public.
But critics have pointed out that they will cost between £2.6m and £4.1m a year, plus the cost of elections.
The elections are expected to cost £25m, partly because they are being held in November 2012, rather than in May on the same day as local elections.
The Senior Salaries Review Body has advised Mrs May on the figure commissioners should be paid - which would be significantly less than the salary of most chief constables.
She said the final decision would be made "in due course and in good time to allow potential candidates to be clear on what they can expect their salary to be".Hire and fire
The highest salaries are expected to be paid to commissioners responsible for large forces such as Greater Manchester, Merseyside, West Midlands and West Yorkshire.
In London the mayor will be the de facto police and crime commissioner but may delegate the role to a Deputy Mayor for Crime and Policing.
The commissioners will be able to hire and fire chief constables, set the force's budget and give "strategic direction" on tackling crime.
Last month Colonel Tim Collins, a veteran of the Iraq war, said he hoped to stand as the Conservative candidate for the post in Kent.
Col Collins, who served in Iraq, Bosnia, Kosovo and Iraq, said his role model would be former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani.
Labour leader Ed Miliband has criticised the cost of introducing the new commissioners and pointed it out that it comes at a time when 16,000 police officers' jobs were being cut.