Monday, January 11, 2010

Errr….no it’s not…says everyone else !!!

£197,000 pay is fair says council boss Katherine Kerswell

"The chief executive of Northamptonshire County Council has defended her £197,000 wage, claiming residents who criticise her pay do not realise how big her job is."

Posted by thecountofnowhere @ 12:04 PM (1103 views)
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10 thoughts on “Errr….no it’s not…says everyone else !!!

  • Thecountofnowhere says:

    He’s overpaid too. I could screw up the economy for only half that amount.

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  • Hmm. Obviously there are many who don’t understand the role of senior management, and what expenses really means. I mean for goodness sake I have an expenses claim of between £1k and £3k *per month*, and I’m nowhere near the top of the tree. (Hidden in the roots, actually.)

    Turning this back onto MPs, my view of why the MP stuff all kicked off is that you don’t pay MPs nearly enough. The £62k is pitifully low compared to other jobs of equivalent responsibility. We get our politicians on the cheap, and that is bad for the whole country. (Pay peanuts get monkeys sort of approach.)

    Now local authority managers may be a slightly different class, as most LAs have to follow prescriptive rules laid down by central government. It is a myth to say LAs have lots of power — apart from that given to them by central government. But still, managing an organisation of several tens of thousands of employees is not a trivial matter, and not everyone can do it.

    For me all this ‘you earn too much you bast*d’ is the wrong argument, and takes away the focus of where the real discussion should happen — that of redistribution to ensure that there is no massive imbalance in society. So yes, people can be allowed to earn eight times the national average wage, but with a sensible redistributionalist policy much of that would be clawed back, so it could be handed out.

    But alas as long as people are easily diverted from the real issues we will have many venting anger at the wrong issues. I’d be very happy to earn that amount of money and have people moan at me, just as long as they don’t find a way of taking any of it off me.

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  • dude – £62k is pitifully low? I disagree! All a back bench MP is supposed to do is to represent the interests of their constituants. Hardly challenging work. My own MP can’t even do that. She will never vote or speak up against her party line, no matter how much you argue the case.

    For all those MPs saying that they could earn £100k in the private sector – off you go then!

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  • @orcusmaximus:

    Yes I understand your sentiment and can totally agree on one level that £62k is a fortune. But on another, ie the environment in which these guys (and gals) work, they will be brushing up against many who earn much more. And to be honest if they are good at their job (as I suspect many MPs on all sides of the House probably are) then they may be tempted away into other jobs.

    The malaise we currently face with bureaucrats earning larger and larger amounts is due in no small part, I would argue, in the ‘privatisation’ of everything. The public sector pay scale was not in any way linked to a private sector equivalent, and so marched its merry way, quite oblivious to the outside world.

    But note some organisations, such as the utilities [spit]* for example, where as soon as they were sold off the first thing that changed was the senior management’s salaries. All of a sudden it was a different world, where money did grow on trees. The fact that there was a captive market meant running the business was so much easier. And as more and more organisations have ‘felt the hand of privatisations’ or the influence of them by business to business contact, so that ‘high pay’ mentality has spread.

    Which is why, back to my original point, this should be ignored. If you have a tax system that simply takes it back off them when they start to earn this much, and ploughs that back into services that benefit the rest of us, they can earn what they bloddy well like. So just like higher house prices, you can gleefully say at parties that you have a high salary or an expensive home, but in reality it is just a heavy millstone around your neck.

    * I single out utilities and railways because these are the least suited to being privatised — our utility bills should be ultimately managed by policy and politics (to stop the old freezing to death, for example) and the railways should be run in such a way to get more people out of their cars (so longer trains, more frequent, with lower prices, not higher).

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  • @dude: “if they are good at their job (as I suspect many MPs on all sides of the House probably are) then they may be tempted away into other jobs.”

    Good – let them contribute to the economy instead of being a drain!
    I agree that cabinet level posts should have a high salary, but being a mere MP does not require talent so should not.

    Also agree on the part of the railways and utilities. Anything to do with the countries infrastructure should never have been privitised.
    I wrote to my MP to ask her to try to keep the Nuclear Industry in house, and merely hire EDF on a consultancy basis, but to no avail. Looking forward to her getting her come uppance in May.

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  • mps expenses are very simple. I agree we dont pay them enough. The problem is that the supplement – er sorry expenses – depends on how clever they have been. This means they will devote some time to this where they probably shouldnt be. So i would rather them be paid a decent and equal amount, rather than differential expenses + salaries.

    Then we come to true expenses. OK lets not be silly here either, i dont care about expenses for a plug in a second home, i just care about the second home. Either you allow them to buy a second home – have the mortgage paid, but let the state be responsible for the sale of that second home and the state get the profit / loss associated with that second home, or you allow them to rent.

    The things in the home – again are owed by the state and should just be kept when the MP leaves. If they have stuff in the home they have paid for then they can take that stuff with them.

    Orcusmaximum (cool name btw) i cant see why they are a drain to be fair. I have had two instances where i have been exposed to my MP. I will explain each in the next post.

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  • ok my exposures to MPs have been as a constituent. One was a Labour member and one a conservative. Both were equally as good

    1. My mother had pretty bad R. Arthritis and needed a knee op. She had a letter telling her she was on the waiting list, which was 9 months. 1 month before her turn was due, she received a letter telling her that the first time she could see the consultant she was under was in 6 months time!!! I wrote to the MP – at the time there was a court case that had been sent to the ECJ, which was supportive of the position that medical need should override wait list requirements, Bedford PCT were involved.

    In any case i mentioned this in my letter to the MP and my mother was offered surgery in a private hospital within 3 weeks. The point was she hadnt tried to queue jump she had just wanted what was her right.

    2. I had an idiotic policeman deal with me at a police station. I dont want to go into details, but i contacted the MP and explained what the problem was – the MP wrote to the Chief constable, and the complaint escalated from there, with a liaison officer assisting me. In each step the MP was very helpful.

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  • “you don’t pay MPs nearly enough”

    Seems they don’t agree, or they wouldn’t have chosen that direction.

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  • @techieman – sounds like your MP is better than mine! But I still don’t see how that justifies a £64k salary. Being able to lean on the right people to get things done on a small scale seems more equivalent to a second line manager than, say, a seniort doctor with 7 years of medical school and decades of experience (figures plucked from thin air, but you get my drift).

    And thats just in the case of a useful MP! In my case, where the MP represents nothing but a vote for her party, the justification is even more strained.

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