The pay debate: Are they worth £250,000 a year?

GPs can now earn a quarter of a million pounds a year ­ but should they be allowed to, and what about those similarly well remunerated? By Terry Kirby and Louise Jack
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The Independent Online

Sanjiv Gupta

Age: Not known

Job: General practitioner

Salary: £270,000

CV: Early career is unknown, but he now runs a general practice in Stoke Newington, north London, which was disclosed earlier this week as one of the highest-earning GP surgeries in the country. Dr Gupta said that his own take-home pay was £130,000, once staff costs had been deducted. He lives in a large house in the outer suburbs of London and drives a Mercedes with a personalised number plate.

What he does for the money: Family doctor services in such a deprived inner city area are highly demanding.

Andrew Windsor

Age: 46

Job: Duke of York

Salary: £249,000 (from the Civil List)

CV: Served in the Royal Navy from 1979 to 2001.

What does he do for the money? He is Britain's special representative for international trade and investment for the Department of Trade and Industry; he is associated with more than 100 organisations, including the Royal Thames Yacht Club,the National Maritime Museum and Tall Ships Youth Trust.

Jo Whiley

Age: 40

Job: Radio 1 DJ

Salary: £250,000

CV: Was a booker for The Word on Channel 4. Joined Radio 1 in 1993. In 1997 she became host of her own daytime show. In 1998 she presented a late-night music and chat show on Channel 4.

What she does for the money: Presents the 10pm to 12.45am show on Radio 1, five days a week.

Alan Cook

Age: 52

Job title: Managing director, Post Office Ltd

Salary: £250,000

CV: Three decades with the Prudential from 1970, becoming managing director of general insurance in 1997 and chief executive of insurance services in 1999. In 2002, he became chief executive of National Savings & Investments, becoming a non-executive board member last April.

What does he do to earn the money? Oversees the day-to-day running of the Post Office.

Paul Hayward

Age: Late 30s

Job: Sports writer, Daily Mail

Salary: £250,000 (reported)

CV: Has written for The Guardian and The Daily Telegraph and was Sports Writer of the Year in 2002 and 2003. He has written several books including a biography of the footballer Michael Owen. Joined the Daily Mail in July.

What does he do for the money: A twice-weekly column, plus reporting on major stories - recently Wayne Rooney's gambling debts and the Cheltenham Festival.

Jana Bennett

Age: 49

Job: BBC director of television since April 1992

Salary: £334,000 (including £63,000 bonus and £16,000 taxable benefits)

CV: Joined from Discovery Communications, where she was executive vice-chairman and general manager.

What she does for the money: Oversees BBC1 and BBC2, as well as digital channels BBC 3 and BBC4, joint ventures with UKTV and content on the international channels BBC America and BBC Prime.

Jade Goody

Age: 25

Job: Celebrity

Salary: £250,000 (estimated)

CV: Rose to fame as a contestant on Big Brother. Despite not winning the show she is believed to have earned more than any other contestant. She has also opened a beauty parlour, Ugly's, in Hertford.

What does she do for the money: Entertains readers of Hello! magazine and The Sun. Yesterday's Sun had the headlines: "Jade Raid" and " Star devastated over £1¿2m theft".

Julia McFarlane

Age: 45

Job: Housewife and mother of three.

Salary: £250,000 (according to divorce settlement.)

CV: A solicitor in a leading City firm, she abandoned her career in 1991 after the couple's second child was born despite earning more than her husband. He continued with his own profession of accountant. In 2004, the Court of Appeal awarded her a one-third share of her husband's £750,000 salary for five years, in recognition of her sacrifice. Mrs McFarlane is awaiting a House of Lords' decision on her application for the payments to be made for life

What she does for the money: Homemaker.

Cherie Booth

Age: 51

Job: Barrister and part-time Crown Court recorder

Salary: £250,000 (estimated)

CV: Graduated with a first-class degree in law from London School of Economics and was called to the bar in 1976. She was appointed a Queen's Counsel in 1995.

What she does for the money:Legal aid, funded work, private work and a court recorder. Public speaking earnings were estimated at £140,000 last year.

Michael Wright

Age: 59

Job: Vice-chancellor Aston University

Salary: £243,000

CV: An Aston alumnus who got a first in electrical engineering in 1969, followed by a PhD. He did an 18-year stint in industry.

What he does for the money: The fourth highest paid vice-chancellor looks after one of the country's smaller universities with only 7,000 students. His salary is linked to his previous experience in industry.

David Kenmir

Age: 43

Job: Managing director, regulatory services, FSA

Salary: £250,000 (plus £95,757 in bonuses and benefits, making his total pay £345,757)

CV: A chartered accountant by training, in the 1990s he became an executive director at the Services and Futures Authority. Appointed to his current position in 2004.

What does he do to earn the money? Mr Kenmir is responsible for providing services to consumers and over 8,500 financial services firms.

Steve Hilton

Age: 36

Job: Media adviser to David Cameron

Salary: £276,000

CV: An Oxford University graduate, he was recruited by Cameron to the Tory research department. At 22, he liaised with the advertising agency M&C Saatchi, before working on the Tory election ads in 1992 and 1997, including the infamous "demon eyes" poster depicting Tony Blair.

What he does for the money: Advises Cameron on how to lead a modern political party.

Dipesh Shah

Age: 52

Job: Chief executive of the United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority

Salary: £264,000 (including bonuses)

CV: Joined Shell-Mex in 1974 and then BP two years later, rising to become its vice-president in charge of global acquisitions.

What he does for the money: Mainly overseeing the long-term decomissioning of four former nuclear sites and the management of the national fusion research programme.

...and is he worth £250,000 a week?

Mark Hurd

Age: 48

Job: Chief executive officer and president Hewlett Packard

Salary: £12.2m or £250,000 a week

CV: A business administrations graduate, Mark Hurd was head at NCR Corp, where he had a 25-year career in general management.

What he does for the money? Runs global computer company.