The Public Sector Pay Scandal
There are very few things in politics that are simple. This is an exception. The principle, implied by Panorama, that no one in the public sector should be paid more than the prime minister seems very sensible to me.
I already knew that BBC senior executives enjoy vastly overinflated pay but the fact that Mark Thompson, director-general of the BBC, gets £838,000 per annum is shocking. It is particularly hard to take after the absurd spectacle of the Pope’s visit. The leader of a very minor church, presently mired in appalling scandal, has enjoyed a bonanza of free, round the clock, TV, radio and internet promotion. I didn’t know but it turns out that Mark Thompson is a rabid Catholic. He has a nerve to run his own private campaigns at our expense! This is too much!
He is at the top and is the very worst of a deeply depressing list of excess and vanity. I am sure that many of these people are very able and skilled in their profession. If and when they choose to go into the private sector they may well make millions. While in the public sector, every single one of them should be very grateful for the privilege to serve.
The argument about market forces, put forward by the leader of Liverpool City Council, is just a weak excuse. If he really believes it then he needs to think again. Believe me, real market forces will sort this out, no problem. We will still get the very best in senior positions if we recruit properly. Successful people will seek to make their name in the public sector first, in prestige positions, then move on to make their fortune.
I say increase the prime minister’s salary to £250,000. These gestures of senior politicians cutting their own pay are meaningless and impress no one. Make that the maximum that anyone in the public sector can earn. Enforce it immediately. All salaries to be trimmed to that level from 1st October. I see everything in favour of this and nothing against.