Jump in council staff earning more than £50k

PUBLISHED: 14:48 01 October 2008 | UPDATED: 10:19 22 July 2010

THE number of Islington Council staff earning more than £50,000 a year went up this year by around a third – from 91 to 122.

THE number of Islington Council staff earning more than £50,000 a year went up this year by around a third - from 91 to 122.

In 2002, 38 council employees earned more than £50k.

Figures show that at the top end the number of employees earning more than £110,000 has risen from three to seven in the last year. New town hall chief executive John Foster, who joined the council this year, is paid £210,000 - up from the £130,000 a year salary paid for the post the year before.

Mark Wallace, of the Taxpayers' Alliance, said: "Coming at this time, this is a truly shocking rise. It is disgraceful that while Council Tax payers struggle to make ends meet, the council is splashing out more on an army of middle managers."

Labour councillor Paul Convery called the jump "disturbing".

He said: "There is rampant wage inflation. There are senior officials who keep moving jobs so their wages keep on going up. They are getting into an 'arms race' to pay the highest wages and it is just crackers."

Liberal Democrat Councillor John Gilbert said: "I'm acutely aware of the credit crunch but if we don't offer decent salaries, we won't get decent people to provide quality services - the taxpayer would ultimately lose out. They are no higher than those offered by other authorities and public sector wages tend to be less than the private sector."

Local campaigner Leo Chapman said: "There are far more than 122 officials paid above £50,000 a year because their gold-plated pensions and expenses are left out. The council gets more secretive each year - budgets 2006 onwards exclude vast amounts of important detail.

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