The Blog of
Nadine Dorries
If you want monkeys, pay them peanuts
Posted Tuesday, 7 April 2009 at 12:13

The TPA research featured on ConservativeHome yesterday is not good. 

Eleven years of New Labour has infected society with the politics of envy. It’s not simply because there is a recession. There appears to have developed an attitude that no one deserves to get on or do well: that it is a crime to work hard and earn money. Aspiration and achievement have almost become dirty words. I have no problem with Town Hall officials earning £100k. I wish I could earn it, however, that’s a different story!

 I am aware that GPs, head teachers and deputy head teachers earn in excess of £120k, as do many running their own business, journalists, editors, civil servants and many others in all walks of life. 

I’ve no problem with that either. I want to see the brightest and best teaching my children. I expect doctors to train long and hard to earn their salary. Neither could be described as the easiest of jobs. I want there to be a reason for entrepreneurs to take the leap. Students who make the decision to go the extra mile for an MSC or a PHD must know that in the end, the hard work will pay off.

 Of course, there is a point at which the line is crossed. Fred Goodwin springs to mind and Andrea Hill
the former Chief Executive of the former Bedfordshire County Council.

Andrea reportedly earned around £250k pa including the extras when she was with us at Bedfordshire. That is also another story and she does appear to be an exception both to the rule of what Local Government Officers are paid, which of course is what she is, and the way she allegedly managed to convince a council to agree to pay such an extortionate salary.

The TPA is an excellent organisation. It should steer clear from research such as this. It knows as well as I do that if Town Halls don’t pay attractive salaries for the best people that the cost of poor management would be greater to the local tax payer. If not least,  because the shrewd and able, just the people we want running our councils,  will work for individual management consultancies who will charge twice as much and cost us more in the long run.

 
 
 
Anonymous said:
Responded: Tuesday, 7 April 2009
We are either a free ecomomy, or not. More control from the top is not what is needed.
 
 
Nigel Adams said:
Responded: Tuesday, 7 April 2009
You make a good point about monkeys and peanuts but it is a bit unfair to use Fred Goodwin as an example of the private sector especially when there are those who run their own businesses and have put it all on the line to make it work. Mr Goodwin has put nothing on the line apart from his reputation. The problem with infamous public sector cases is that the beneficiaries know there is no down side if they mess up. They are not accountable, it is virtually impossible to sack incompetent public sector managers and very often, if they do go, they get recycled back into the public sector!
 
 
Viv said:
Responded: Tuesday, 7 April 2009
As a long suffering civil servant I can confirm that the incompetence of managers is endemic at all levels. The quality of candidates has fallen and we now recruit those with very little talent or substance but they can talk the talk. Certainly at lower levels this is due to poor pay, really.
 
 
Mike said:
Responded: Tuesday, 7 April 2009
My God, you are a Conservative. I didn't think there were any of you left.
 
 
Bedford boy said:
Responded: Tuesday, 7 April 2009
All well and good Nadine, problem is those who are paid vast amounts don't deliver. They delegate and then blame someone else when it all goes wrong.
 
 
Alison said:
Responded: Tuesday, 7 April 2009
Nice to see your writing is back on form. We missed you.
 
 
Mike Spilligan said:
Responded: Wednesday, 8 April 2009
We really need to know whether the "bench marks" used in recruiting are the right ones. Usually both the potential recruit for a particular post and the interviewing board have got experience only of the public sector and so they start with perceptions and standards out of kilter with reality.
 
 
Paul Round said:
Responded: Wednesday, 8 April 2009
I totally disagree with your premise that paying huge sums out to managers means saving money in the long run.Far from this being the case, there is plenty of evidence around the country that local government is as badly run and endemically corrupt as central government has become.Far too many layers of "management", unsackable employees and poorer services at higher cost are spreading like a rash across the country
 
 
Mike H said:
Responded: Wednesday, 8 April 2009
I don't begrudge those who earn large salaries, the emphasis being on the word 'earn'. The problem I have is with these heads of local government who have a captive 'customer' base and don't have to compete with others who may be able to offer those reluctant customers a better service at a lower price. If the management of our local councils were able to *reduce* the levels of council tax, rather than always increasing their charges by something way outside any realistic measure of inflation, then I'd be happy to see them earning these large salaries. Great to see you're allowing comments again. Welcome back to the real world of blogging! One-way diaries can be so boring.... ;-)
 
 
John Ward said:
Responded: Thursday, 9 April 2009
Although it is annoying to have to admit it, the article is correct. That's the way of the world as it is. From the comments so far, others have experience of those who have not been worth their salaries, and I might add that it can be very difficult to get rid of them. Where I am we are lucky in having a very good, hand-picked senior staff in the council, but it is a very lean structure so they earn their keep and the overall cost isn't anywhere near as high as it would otherwise have been.
 
 
Simon Thomas said:
Responded: Thursday, 9 April 2009
The maximum salary for a headteacher is £100,000 (inner London - £112,000). Most Heads earn between £70,000 and £90,000 and most Deputy Heads between £60,000 and £80,000. Either way, it is a lot less than £120,000. How dare they earn more than an MP!
 
 
subrosa said:
Responded: Sunday, 12 April 2009
Given the fact than an Army Major earns £43,000+ how can you say a politician is worth more? Military personnel get no perks, can work 24/7 weeks at a time, are what I define as dedicated people. Can that be said of MPs who now want £120+ a year? Never in my book.
 
 
 
Contact Nadine
Nadine Dorries MP
House of Commons
London SW1A 0AA
via e-mail at: nadine.dorries.mp@parliament.uk
or Telephone on 020 7219 5928

 
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