Senior public sector salaries under pressure as vacancies offered at lower rates

Salaries for senior public sector executives are to be cut for the first time, in a bid to cut costs and placate the public, according to the Times.

Kent County Council has advertised for a new chief executive, paying £185,000, £22,000 less than it paid the incumbent. Kent has opted out of national pay bargaining, and has imposed a council-wide pay freeze this year.

Council leader Paul Carter said he thought the new salary was “about right”, but admitted this was probably the lowest acceptable rate for the job.

The Audit Commission is also considering reducing its top official’s pay by around 15%.

While outgoing chief executive Steve Bundred is paid £231,000 per annum, his successor will be offered around £195,000.

David Clark, chief executive of the Society of Local Authority Chief Executives (SOLACE) said that while few existing chief executives would be prepared to take a pay cut to move jobs, less experienced candidates would seize the opportunity this presents.

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