Olympic quangocrats top pay league

2 July 2010

Four out of the top ten earners on a list of high-salaried quango employees are leading the construction of the London 2012 Olympics, Construction Enquirer reported.

Figures published by the Cabinet Office show that four senior figures at the Olympic Delivery Authority top the charts of “quangocrats” earning more than the Prime Minister, whose salary is £142 500.

David Higgins, chief executive of the Olympic Delivery Authority heading up the list with a salary of nearly £400 000 a year.

He is one of 15 people working on the games who are paid more than Cameron. Figures published today show that 26 quangocrats earn more than £200,000 and 158 earn more than £150,000.

The news emerged as the Tories' push for more “open government” saw the pay details of high earners at “Quasi Non-Governmental Organisations” published. This followed a similar breakdown to the details for civil servants 

The revelations are likely to intensify pressure on quangos, which are already either threatened with closeure or being asked to find budget cuts as part of the public sector spending reductions. Twenty-four individuals refused to have their salaries published.

The four senior staff in charge of building the Olympics site in London who find themselves in the top 10 are:

David Higgins, chief executive of the Olympic Delivery Authority taking home between £390,000 and £394,999 a year.

Howard Shiplee, the authority’s director of construction, paid between £285,000 and £289,999 a year.

Denis Hone, director of finance and corporate services, took home between £265,000 to £269,999

Chairman John Armitt took home earned £250,000 and £254,999 a year.

In addition, director of infrastructure Simon Wright was paid £225,000 a year, and Godric Smith, a former Prime Minister’s spokesman, was paid £195,000 in his role as director of communications at the Olympic Delivery Authority.

Away from the Olympics, Partnership for Schools chief executive Tim Byles was also revealed to be earning £215,000 a year.

When The Guardian reported on the story, it pointed out that the Olympics has to compete internationally to recruit on the open market, forcing salaries up. The high salary packages also contain some compensation for the fact that the job will automatically come to an end after 2012.


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