Monday 7 December 2009

Not so brief briefing

There were many Qs at lobby today about public sector pay after the PM said civil servants who earned over £150,000 would be named. Try reading out loud the answer given to one question below.

Hack: Just to check on the speech today. The Prime Minister talked about people working for publicly funded broadcasters and anyone earning over £150,000. Will this mean actually publishing their salaries or what will that actually mean?

PM’s spokesman Simon Lewis: First of all the chief secretary will approve pay levels in excess of £150,000 for all civil servants. And that is with immediate effect and that is obviously on appointment, so it’s not retrospective. Any job application or advertisement that goes live now, that is in process. [In] a category of jobs where ministerial approval is not required, then the expectation will be that the relevant secretary of state will expect all organisations in their sectors, where there are salaries in excess of £150,000 to publicly justify those. So this is about transparency, which we think is very important as well. Ditto any bonus over £50,000. The other important point of this is Bill Cockburn has been asked by the Prime Minister, and he is writing to him today, to look at the whole area of public sector pay in respect of those earning above £150,000. Bill will put together a group, which I think will comprise, for guidance, the senior salary reviews pay review body plus other representatives and they will report by the time of the budget. So the really important point here is the principles. The Government can obviously take control of those jobs where we have direct responsibility for signing them off, but there’s a raft of jobs, for your point, including organisations which are covered directly by ministerial appointment where we think it’s really important that we use the principles of transparency and accountability to shine light on them. There’ll probably be certain categories that will not be covered by this, clinicians probably being one category. But the driving principle here is the Prime Minister’s very strong view that it is time for a complete change in culture in the top pay in the public sector and this is a very effective way of moving this forward and clearly we want to make sure that the Cockburn Review looks as widely as possible. That’s probably a rather long winded answer to your question, but does it kind of cover what you were asking?

Hack: Well, no.


Galbo's Dad said...

My head hit the desk before I finished. Lewis sounds like a gimp.

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