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The pay of the 172 civil servants earning more than the Prime Minister is revealed

Picture 2 As promised yesterday, the era of more open and transparent government begins today with the publication of the salaries of all civil servants earning more than the Prime Minister.

There are no fewer than 172 mandarins and quangocrats taking home more than David Cameron's £142,500, with the table being headed by the hitherto anonymous John Fingleton, who heads the Office of Fair Trading on virtually double the Prime Ministerial salary.

The table of the highest civil service earners on the right is taken from today's Daily Mail.

The Independent, meanwhile, points out that eyebrows will be raised over some seemingly odd anomalies a little further down the list: for example, the revelation that the permanent secretary at the all-important Treasury earns £15,000 less than his counterpart at the Department for International Development.

Click here to download a spreadsheet of the full table.

Cabinet Office minister Francis Maude declares that people's trust can start being won back with government being open and accountable in this way:

"We are pulling back the curtains to let light into the corridors of power... Openness will not be comfortable for us in government, but it will enable the public to hold our feet to the fire. This way lies better government. Transparency is key to our efficiency drive and will enable the public to help us to deliver better value for money in public spending. Today is just the start of what we plan to do. We are determined to set an example for the wider public sector, and to create a 'right to data' as a core part of government business."

Matthew Elliott 2 Today's move has naturally been given a warm welcome by the TaxPayers' Alliance, which has long campaigned for this sort of transparency. Its chief executive, Matthew Elliott, said:

"Publishing this data is long overdue but is nevertheless extremely welcome. Taxpayers have a right to know how their money is being spent and anyone earning a large amount of money in government should have their pay packet open to public scrutiny, so people can judge whether they are providing good value for money. This should be the beginning of a process where the pay of people in quangos, local government and the European Commission is also published to help the Government root out excessive salaries and wasteful spending."

Jonathan Isaby


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