Olympics officials among quango chiefs who earn more than PM

More than 140 quango chiefs earn more than the Prime Minister, with large sums going to the key figures behind the preparations for the 2012 London Olympics, the Cabinet Office disclosed last night.

They are each paid more than the £150,000 to which David Cameron was entitled until he took a £7,500 pay cut when he arrived in office in May. The figures were released by the Government as part of its drive to "open up the corridors of power".

Britain's highest-paid quango official is David Higgins, chief executive of the Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA), who is paid between £390,000 and £394,999.

Seven other ODA officials draw salaries that dwarf the Prime Minister's income, earning more than £2m between them. Their large remuneration packages reflect the fact that senior figures were recruited from the private sector to oversee the organisation of the Olympics.

The ODA's director of construction, Howard Shiplee, receives £285,000 to £289,999, its finance director, Dennis Hone, is paid between £265,000 and £269,999 and the ODA chairman, John Armitt, takes home £250,000 to £254,999.

Four other ODA directors are on salaries of more than £200,000.

Bosses at the ODA have been accused of being the "bankers of the Olympics" by London politicians for refusing to curb their salaries and bonuses at a time when the public sector faces a pay freeze and job losses.

The ODA has defended the lucrative pay packages, saying they reflected the need to pay the market rate and recruit the best-qualified people, pointing out that some had given up well-paid jobs to work on the Olympics.

Mr Armitt said last year: "We are a market economy and we pay people according to the salaries they can demand, according to the skills they have. I'm not considering reducing my salary and I certainly would not dream of asking to reduce the chief executive's."

The second-highest basic salary is paid to Tony Fountain, the chief executive of the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA), which is responsible for dealing with nuclear waste.

In addition to his pay of £365,000 to £369,999, he receives a £70,810 allowance in lieu of a pension and is currently being paid £91,000 relocation costs, bringing his total package from the taxpayer to more than £520,000. Mr Fountain joined the NDA last October from BP, where he was chief operating officer of the oil giant's Fuels Value Chains business.

Sir Leszek Borysiewicz, the chief executive of the Medical Research Council, is paid between £255,000 and £259,999. He was in the spotlight two years ago when, as the most senior Roman Catholic scientist in Britain, he attacked his church's opposition to proposed laws that would allow the creation of human-animal embryos for research.

Andrew Haines, chief of the Civil Aviation Authority, is paid between £250,000 and £254,999.

Last month the Government disclosed that 172 senior civil servants were paid more than £150,000 a year, earning £29.2m between them.

Francis Maude, Minister for the Cabinet Office, said last night: "Yet again we have shown we are absolutely committed to acting quickly on pledges in our Coalition Agreement to release information that will allow everyone to hold their politicians and public bodies to account.

"This release, along with previous publications listing high earning civil servants and salaries of special advisers, shows that transparency is fast becoming an integral part of everything we do.

"I believe this will not only increase accountability, but will lead to more efficient public service organisations."

News
Emma Watson has become the latest target of the 4Chan nude hacking scandal
peopleThreats follows actress' speech on feminism and equality at the UN
News
Alan Bennett criticised the lack of fairness in British society encapsulated by the private school system
peopleBut he does like Stewart Lee
Sport
David Moyes and Louis van Gaal
football
Arts and Entertainment
Sheridan Smith as Cilla Black and Ed Stoppard as her manager Brian Epstein
tvCilla Episode 2 review: Grit under the glamour in part two of biopic series starring Sheridan Smith
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Life and Style
tech
Life and Style
Alan Turing, who was convicted of gross indecency in 1952, was granted a royal pardon last year
life
Life and Style
life
Arts and Entertainment
Tennis player Andy Murray's mum Judy has been paired with Anton du Beke for Strictly Come Dancing. 'I'm absolutely delighted,' she said.
tvJudy Murray 'struggling' to let Anton Du Beke take control on Strictly
Life and Style
Vote with your wallet: the app can help shoppers feel more informed about items on sale
lifeNew app reveals political leanings of food companies
Arts and Entertainment
The cover of Dark Side of the Moon
musicCan 'The Endless River' carry on the tradition? See for yourself
Sport
New Zealand fly-half Aaron Cruden pictured in The Zookeeper's Son on a late-night drinking session
rugby
Arts and Entertainment
Worldwide ticket sales for The Lion King musical surpassed $6.2bn ($3.8bn) this summer
tvMusical is biggest grossing show or film in history
Voices
A new app has been launched that enables people to have a cuddle from a stranger
voicesMaybe the new app will make it more normal to reach out to strangers
Arts and Entertainment
Salmond told a Scottish television chat show in 2001that he would also sit in front of a mirror and say things like,
tvCelebrity Trekkies from Alex Salmond to Barack Obama
News
i100
Life and Style
food + drink
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Business Analyst/ Project Manager - Financial Services

£60000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client in the Financial...

English Secondary Teacher

£110 - £140 per day: Randstad Education Cambridge: English Teacher needed for ...

Year 3/4 Teacher - Immediate Start

Negotiable: Randstad Education Chester: Year 3/4 Teacher Needed in Flintshire ...

English Teacher

£85 - £125 per day: Randstad Education Chester: Job Opportunity for Secondary ...

Day In a Page

Secret politics of the weekly shop

The politics of the weekly shop

New app reveals political leanings of food companies
Beam me up, Scottie!

Beam me up, Scottie!

Celebrity Trekkies from Alex Salmond to Barack Obama
Beware Wet Paint: The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition

Beware Wet Paint

The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition
Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

Can 'The Endless River' carry on the tradition?
Sanctuary for the suicidal

Sanctuary for the suicidal

One mother's story of how London charity Maytree helped her son with his depression
A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

Not That Kind of Girl:

A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

Model mother

Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world
Apple still coolest brand – despite U2 PR disaster

Apple still the coolest brand

Despite PR disaster of free U2 album
Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits