Councils spend 22% more on middle management

By staff

Local authorities are spending an average of 22 per cent more on middle management positions than a year ago, new research has revealed.

The number of staff on £50,000+ remuneration packages has risen from 31,000 to almost 37,000 between 2006/07 to 2007/08.

The total bill for those council staff on £50,000-plus was nearly £2.4 billion last year – up more than 20 per cent since 2006/07.

Matthew Elliott, chief executive of the TaxPayers’ Alliance, said: “In the private sector thousands of people are losing their jobs, yet councils are better staffed and better paid than ever.

“Councils are ignoring economic reality and simply recruiting more managers and handing out more pay rises than taxpayers can afford.”

The average local authority spent well over £5 million employing people in £50,000+ remuneration packages last year.

The report constitutes the second part of a TaxPayers’ Alliance series revealing data from surveys of all the UK’s local councils.

Last week, the organisation found a massive increase in spending on PR. This week, the research reveals a surge in local councils recruiting middle and senior management executives.

The increase in the number of local authority employees being paid more than £50,000 per annum has far surpassed the rate of increase in the economy as a whole, and with a recession now taking hold the trend looks unsustainable.

“Council tax bills are cripplingly high, and town halls must change their ways to bring the bill down,” Mr Elliott.

The report highlighted an interesting distinction between council pay and that of MPs. Middle and senior managerial positions are now racing past the level of MP’s pay.

There were 15,388 middle and senior managers being paid at least £60,000 last year in local government – the salary of MPs has been £63,291 since April 2008.