Hospice charities that rely on scores of volunteers are paying senior staff up to £160,000 a year, according to a report.
Some 240 senior hospice staff earned more than £60,000 a year with at least 25 getting more than £100,000, The Times newspaper said.
Nearly third of the 250 hospices in England and Wales pay any staff more than £60,000. Among the hospices that do this, 7p out of every £1 of income went to high-earning staff.
Andrew Bridgen, Conservative MP for North West Leicestershire and a patron of Hospice Help, pointed out that the “vast majority” of hospice workers were volunteers “giving their time for absolutely nothing”.
“[Large salaries] would sit uneasily with the volunteers. I think they’d be horrified,” he added.
He said charities should disclose how much they spend on administration to “enable people to make an informed choice when they give to a charity”.
Roger Goss, the co-director of Patient Concern, said: “Many people will be shocked, when they thought this sort of organisation was driven by altruism and a desire to help people rather than create highly paid jobs.”
Financial accounts for hospice charities for 2013-14 revealed that at least 82 paid at least one employee more than £60,000 a year.
St Gemma’s Hospice in Leeds paid a total of between £630,000 and £700,000 to just seven staff. Kerry Jackson, the hospice’s chief executive, said it paid competitive salaries.
The Myton Hospices in Warwickshire paid eight people more than £60,000, adding up to a total of nearly 6.6 per cent of its income. Myton said it was important to “attract the highest calibre of clinical and non-clinical managers”.