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Top civil servant wage bill slashed

The number of civil servants and quango chiefs on salaries over £150,000 has been cut by more than 50 over the past year, at an annual saving to the taxpayer of around £10 million, it was revealed today.

Some 291 mandarins and officials were earning more than £150,000 - compared to David Cameron's salary of £132,923 as Prime Minister - down from 345 in 2010.

The biggest earner was Tony Fountain, chief executive of the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority, on £375,000-£380,000. Mr Fountain also received a £70,810 payment in lieu of pension and £76,650 second home allowance, according to the figures released by the Cabinet Office.

Cabinet Office Minister Francis Maude said: "This week we have revealed a staggering £3.75 billion of cash savings by driving out inefficiencies and unjustifiable costs in central government.

"As part of these savings we have slashed £10 million off the salary bill of the top earners by reducing the number of officials earning over £150,000 by 16%. This is another example of cutting the deficit without cutting frontline services."

Today's list reveals the salary of all senior civil servants and officials in departments, agencies and non-departmental public bodies earning £150,000 or more, broken down into £5,000 bands.

Senior officials who work part-time are included on the list if their pro rata pay is the equivalent of more than £150,000 for a full-time job.

Senior staff at the Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA) took home some of the biggest pay packets, with chief executive Dennis Hone on £310-315,000 and director of construction Howard Shiplee on £285-290,000.

ODA director of infrastructure Simon Wright, director of property Ralph Luck, director of transport Hugh Sumner and director of design Alison Nimmo are all on £225-230,000. ODA chairman John Armitt earned £250-255,000 for a three-and-a-half day week.

NHS chief executive Sir David Nicholson and Office of Fair Trading chief executive John Fingleton were both on salaries of £275-280,000, while Civil Aviation Authority chief executive Andrew Haines earned £250-255,000.

The organisation with the most high-earning officials was the Ministry of Defence, with 27 individuals on the list, including Chief of Defence Staff General Sir David Richards on £235-240,000, First Sea Lord Admiral Sir Mark Stanhope on £185-190,000, Chief of the Air Staff Air Chief Marshal Sir Stephen Dalton on £175-180,000 and chief of the Army General Sir Peter Wall on £170-175,000.