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Should the Prime Minister be the highest paid in the public sector? BBC Panorama watch

  • View Poll Results: Should the Prime Minister be paid higher?
    Yes, the PM should be paid a higher salary
    20
    60.61%
    No, the PM should be paid a lower salary
    3
    9.09%
    Neither, the PM salary is just about right
    10
    30.30%

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    Personally I believe the power and responsibility of a Prime Minister demands the highest paid salary in the public sector.

    BBC panorama: How much do top people in the public sector really get paid - council chiefs, headteachers, policemen, even the BBC's own bosses? Panorama reveals the results of the most thorough and extensive investigation ever conducted into their pay, using the Freedom of Information Act to contact over 2,400 organisations. Thousands of people receive bigger salaries from the taxpayer than the Prime Minister; are they actually worth it?
    9,000 in the public sector are paid more than the Prime Minister.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode...ers_Rich_List/
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    Well without the people who are getting paid more than him, then his job would be alot harder I guess?
    David Cameron is wealthy anyway so he doesnt need the money and I think all politicians know if they get paid too much they will come underfire at one point or another.... But if I was gonna be PM I'd want more than 142.5k or whatever it is xD
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    I disagree completely. The purpose of offering high pay is to attract the most able candidates, except in positions where salary is not the primary motive behind people taking the job. This is the case for people who seek the PM's office. People have plenty of reasons to want to become Prime Minister; power, fame, a desire to change things for the better, self-affirmation, etc. Nobody seeks it for the salary. Offering a higher salary wouldn't change a thing.

    The pay simply needs to be decent, to maintain the dignity of the office if nothing else.
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    Thank you FyreFight. The reward of being PM is not monetary if he was paid more you wouldn't see a people from the private sector flocking in. However if you look at a lot of the guys on big salaries they could easily go to the private sector and earn more. In that sense we get a great deal, we get successful private sector bosses at a vastly lower rate.

    In response to when dinner ladies hear their head master is on 100K+ and get annoyed. It's simply economics, the supply of teachers, dinner ladies or grounds men is vast compared to that of a good head teacher. You lose a dinner lady nothing changes, you lose a good head teacher everything could go to pieces.
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    Thanks you Fyre Fight hit the nail on the head. Just to add, these big bosses on higher salaries have far more important jobs than those of say dinner ladies and when you take into account they could earn so much more in the private sector you realise that we are getting a bargain for a lot of these guys.
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    Tbh, i didn't think the head teacher was that bad, considering he was running two schools.

    But the head of the police guy, whatever the position was, it was waaaay higher than i expected although it is an important job. The lady who said he should get paid that a month should be his new best friend haha :P


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    (Original post by Reformed2010)
    Personally I believe the power and responsibility of a Prime Minister demands the highest paid salary in the public sector.
    :yep:

    I agree entirely. The role of Prime Minister is probably the TOUGHEST ROLE in the entire public sector.
    It ferociously demands commitment, effort, sacrifice, and accountability. The 9,000 public servants paid more than the Prime Minister should be capped, and paid less than the Prime Minister. They do not carry as much accountability, and responsiblity to the BRITISH PUBLIC.


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    Whoever does the most work/works the hardest should be paid the most. Pay should go on merit.
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    (Original post by unknownrebalz)
    Whoever does the most work/works the hardest should be paid the most. Pay should go on merit.
    And how do you suppose you'd organise that? Set up a Ministry of Hard Work? Perhaps have a certain idea of how hard certain jobs are? What happens if someone in a difficult job like being, say, a bin man, works a little less than his fellows? If someone who you think does an easy job works ten-hour shifts? Theonly way that would be enforceable would be with government inspectors watching literally everyone's every move in the workplace.
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    (Original post by the_educated1)
    :yep:

    I agree entirely. The role of Prime Minister is probably the TOUGHEST ROLE in the entire public sector.
    It ferociously demands commitment, effort, sacrifice, and accountability. The 9,000 public servants paid more than the Prime Minister should be capped, and paid less than the Prime Minister. They do not carry as much accountability, and responsiblity to the BRITISH PUBLIC.


    But if you go for PM, you arent doing it for the money, nor are a lot of the cabinate. Hague earnt a multiple of what he does now in the private sector, but went back as he wanted to serve his country.

    Being PM doesnt necessarily mean you are worth the money. It just means people voted for you.

    How much you pay people affects the quality of people you get. Yes, I think a lot of people (me included) would take pay cuts to work in the public sector and make a positive difference, but very few people who could earn £600-700k plus in the private sector are going to take cuts to £140k. Maybe £300k or so. But otherwise the gap is too large.

    With the police guy, its a choice. The area and taxpayers in the area, can either have high crime and a terrible police force, or pay him £150k plus and have safe streets, nice areas etc. He should earn what the market determines hes worth/what it takes to retain and motivate him, and if thats more than the PM, so be it. The problem isnt 'more than the PM' (whose pay was cut from a little under £200k anyway), but of people earning huge sums of money for paper pushing jobs. Plus Mark Thompson...
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    (Original post by davidr30)
    But if you go for PM, you arent doing it for the money, nor are a lot of the cabinet.
    :yep:

    Yes, of course, but the Prime Minister is the most prominent office in the public sector. Naturally, it should also be the most rewarding.

    Service to the entire country on multiple fronts (local, regional, national, and international) is not a role that every occupation in the public sector can lay claim to here. As such, the Prime Minister ought to be rewarded in proportion to the duties and expectations that the country places on the office.
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    (Original post by yoyo462001)
    Thanks you Fyre Fight hit the nail on the head. Just to add, these big bosses on higher salaries have far more important jobs than those of say dinner ladies and when you take into account they could earn so much more in the private sector you realise that we are getting a bargain for a lot of these guys.
    So if the job's importance is a factor in pay, why is the most important job in the land not respected and rewarded properly?

    The role of public servants, the key is in the name by the way, applies to the Prime Minister as much as it does to head teachers and leaders of local councils or police forces. Public servants are just that, and as the programme highlighted once upon a time they were. Where is the head of a police force going to run away too if his salary is lowered below the Prime Minister? the local private police force? no. Head teachers like many public workers are not completely driven by money. As the head teacher on the programme said, if his salary was lowered by £50,000 he would still be a head teacher.

    Even if, as people have argued on here, the office of the Prime Minister is a job of honour and servitude. Arguing those who seek it want to 'change things'. The same can be said about any other Chief Executive in the public sector. Those in charge of police forces claim to have the same calling, a sense of altruism and desire to help others. The difference is the role of the Prime Minister demands greater responsibility and wields power over the entire country. Yet because of your emotional based ideal of 'public servitude', oddly ignored by the 9,000 other public servants with less responsibility and power, the Prime Minister is paid less than some one in charge of the Olympics.

    What a joke.
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    (Original post by Kulpio)
    Well without the people who are getting paid more than him, then his job would be alot harder I guess?
    David Cameron is wealthy anyway so he doesnt need the money and I think all politicians know if they get paid too much they will come underfire at one point or another.... But if I was gonna be PM I'd want more than 142.5k or whatever it is xD
    That's a hell of a lot of money considering he gets everything free ie house etc, most people dont have that luxury and therefor get paid more.
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    (Original post by Reformed2010)
    So if the job's importance is a factor in pay, why is the most important job in the land not respected and rewarded properly?

    The role of public servants, the key is in the name by the way, applies to the Prime Minister as much as it does to head teachers and leaders of local councils or police forces. Public servants are just that, and as the programme highlighted once upon a time they were. Where is the head of a police force going to run away too if his salary is lowered below the Prime Minister? the local private police force? no. Head teachers like many public workers are not completely driven by money. As the head teacher on the programme said, if his salary was lowered by £50,000 he would still be a head teacher.

    Even if, as people have argued on here, the office of the Prime Minister is a job of honour and servitude. Arguing those who seek it want to 'change things'. The same can be said about any other Chief Executive in the public sector. Those in charge of police forces claim to have the same calling, a sense of altruism and desire to help others. The difference is the role of the Prime Minister demands greater responsibility and wields power over the entire country. Yet because of your emotional based ideal of 'public servitude', oddly ignored by the 9,000 other public servants with less responsibility and power, the Prime Minister is paid less than some one in charge of the Olympics.

    What a joke.
    You've failed to fully understand what Fyrefight or myself have said. As the public sector tries to become more efficient is starts to borrow practices from the private sector i.e. competitive wages. The prime ministers benefits greatly outweigh the rest, salary is not the only determinant, in the sense that you get the power, responsibility of a nation. Then again the prime ministers pay is not a benchmark and should not be used as one. You would also be foolish to compare importance of jobs across different sectors, they are different sectors they come with different responsibilities, it's like comparing a footballer to a hockey player. The guy at the top of OFCOM has a more important job + skills that make it possible to command such a high wage.
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    In my opinion, the government should not be paid unless they do a good job.
    Think of them as contractors, they put in their bid to build a better country and then you select what appears to be the best bid. If you got a contractor in to fix your house and they did a rubbish job of it, would you pay them? I somehow don't think so. They are basically the same concept, so how does the government get away with doing such a bad job?
    I know that this idea is not without problems but i think that it is something that you could start from!
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    (Original post by yoyo462001)
    You've failed to fully understand what Fyrefight or myself have said. As the public sector tries to become more efficient is starts to borrow practices from the private sector i.e. competitive wages. The prime ministers benefits greatly outweigh the rest, salary is not the only determinant, in the sense that you get the power, responsibility of a nation. Then again the prime ministers pay is not a benchmark and should not be used as one. You would also be foolish to compare importance of jobs across different sectors, they are different sectors they come with different responsibilities, it's like comparing a footballer to a hockey player. The guy at the top of OFCOM has a more important job + skills that make it possible to command such a high wage.
    Yes I am aware of what you both have said, which in a nut shell is efficiency wage theory. However even the IMF and World bank are not convinced of the myth of private efficiency superiority. So justifying paying public sector chiefs on that argument is not so conclusive as you'd like. However I do agree in that the Prime Minister's jobs perk's are second to none. In office and afterwards.

    I don't think anyone is foolish when they believe power and responsibility should be linked with pay. Or foolish for thinking a footballer should not be paid as high as job A and B. Yes each sector comes with different responsibilities, but the point of argument is should those with greater responsibilities and deserve better pay. I believe the common person has an ounce of common sense. Rather than shrug and churn out, 'market know best' line. You just said the guy at the top of OFCOM has a more important job + skills that make it possible to command a wage. I agree and the PM and his Cabinet office job is more important and I believe demands (or should demand) better skill. Oh and I don't think the 'sense of power' of any job should be a factor in a higher or lower pay.

    The man with the greatest responsibility and power, in charge of the civil service, should not be the benchmark of civil service salaries... OK whose salary should it be? no ones?! The Liverpool councillor in the programme argued the case to offer the high salary for because of Liverpool's comparison to a FTS 100. 'salary is not the only determinant, in the sense that you get the power, responsibility of a nation'. In other words be happy that you are Prime Minister, its a public duty and honour. That is your perk. Which is the same reason why some believe chief's of public services should take a salary cut or not be paid higher than the Prime Minister.
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    (Original post by Reformed2010)
    Yes I am aware of what you both have said, which in a nut shell is efficiency wage theory. However even the IMF and World bank are not convinced of the myth of private efficiency superiority. So justifying paying public sector chiefs on that argument is not so conclusive as you'd like. However I do agree in that the Prime Minister's jobs perk's are second to none. In office and afterwards.

    I don't think anyone is foolish when they believe power and responsibility should be linked with pay. Or foolish for thinking a footballer should not be paid as high as job A and B. Yes each sector comes with different responsibilities, but the point of argument is should those with greater responsibilities and deserve better pay. I believe the common person has an ounce of common sense. Rather than shrug and churn out, 'market know best' line. You just said the guy at the top of OFCOM has a more important job + skills that make it possible to command a wage. I agree and the PM and his Cabinet office job is more important and I believe demands (or should demand) better skill. Oh and I don't think the 'sense of power' of any job should be a factor in a higher or lower pay.

    The man with the greatest responsibility and power, in charge of the civil service, should not be the benchmark of civil service salaries... OK whose salary should it be? no ones?! The Liverpool councillor in the programme argued the case to offer the high salary for because of Liverpool's comparison to a FTS 100. 'salary is not the only determinant, in the sense that you get the power, responsibility of a nation'. In other words be happy that you are Prime Minister, its a public duty and honour. That is your perk. Which is the same reason why some believe chief's of public services should take a salary cut or not be paid higher than the Prime Minister.
    I wouldn't take anything the IMF or World Bank say too seriously tbh, they're hypocrites 99% of the time and have vested political interests many of the time. In regards to 'which benchmark', why does there need to be a benchmark. Everyone spends all day worrying about should this person be paid x y and z rather than actually tackling problems. In my eyes it's clear either say X wage for top bosses regardless of sector or we let market driven forces dictate the wage. Otherwise we're just wasting time.

    The public are generally quite stupid when it comes to these things, they are heavily self interested and jealous of these wages in most instances (as seen on the programme), they want bosses on wages the same as those lower down but want the best. Whether you like it or not wage in most instances is an incentive for those that excel, intrinsic value from the job is only likely to bring very few top bosses in the public sector.
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    (Original post by yoyo462001)
    I wouldn't take anything the IMF or World Bank say too seriously tbh, they're hypocrites 99% of the time and have vested political interests many of the time. In regards to 'which benchmark', why does there need to be a benchmark. Everyone spends all day worrying about should this person be paid x y and z rather than actually tackling problems. In my eyes it's clear either say X wage for top bosses regardless of sector or we let market driven forces dictate the wage. Otherwise we're just wasting time.

    The public are generally quite stupid when it comes to these things, they are heavily self interested and jealous of these wages in most instances (as seen on the programme), they want bosses on wages the same as those lower down but want the best. Whether you like it or not wage in most instances is an incentive for those that excel, intrinsic value from the job is only likely to bring very few top bosses in the public sector.
    In a nut shell market driven forces are irrational and often left to abuse. When you have a government that threatens job and salary cuts, as well as cap's. I think we the people have every damn right to have an opinion, complain and even decide who gets paid what in the public sector. With all due respect, despite you belief in the public sector adopting private sector values. It is still the public sector and its duty is too us first. I don't agree with the view that the common person is selfish and stupid, especially regarding this situation. If anything, this programme has shown the public's admiration for the toughest job, the Prime Minister, to be rewarded fairly. To admit that I think proves people have a thread of fair play.

    You on the other hand think we should surrender to market forces. As I said I don't agree that the market is a good judgement for what is right and wrong. It certainly isn't rational and when applied to the private sector distorts fair pay like this.
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    (Original post by the_educated1)
    :yep:

    Yes, of course, but the Prime Minister is the most prominent office in the public sector. Naturally, it should also be the most rewarding.

    Service to the entire country on multiple fronts (local, regional, national, and international) is not a role that every occupation in the public sector can lay claim to here. As such, the Prime Minister ought to be rewarded in proportion to the duties and expectations that the country places on the office.
    So what you are saying is that, instead of paying what is necessary to attract the best person to deliver the best results for the Police, Councils etc, the public sector should be forced to not attract those people on the basis that they would earn more than the PM???

    To me, that seems incredibly simplistic thinking and completely un-pragmatic. Kinda like Communism/socialist economys, looks and sounds great, but the reality is worse situation for almost everyone.

    Just because, in a company, the Chairman/CEO is the most senior and has the most responsibility, doesnt mean he's the best paid. Often you find the top sales guys/traders etc are, as their pay is based upon the results delivered!

    Im sorry, but the whole notion that no public sector person should earn more than the PM is nuts. I am the first to advocate that public sector pay should be cut for many of those people, but this is not a suitable reason. Nor do I think any pay deals should be limited.

    However, I think that deals like people earning £60k in 1999 but £250k in 2006, for doing exactly the same job (little more than paper pushing) - as one civil servant I know does, is insane, and things like that need to be brought under control.

    David C isnt in Politics for money...someone with his abilities and CV would easily earn £500-£600k a year in the private sector, and possibly more. I agree that public sector work should be more about duty than money, of course, and Im not overly keen on huge wage packets, but cases like the Police Chief I completely support and understand. Do you have any idea how many recruitment consultants I know who have £350k a year offers on the table for him in a HR role...several. If he were to leave the poilce, and crime rates went up and the situation returned to what it was before he arrived, I doubt the people living in that community would be too happy. And all on the basis that "no-one should earn more than the PM". Fundamentally, people might accept a 1/3rd reduction in wages if they feel they can make a positive difference to people's lives in the public sector (I know I would...), but if somebody was offering me 60-70% less, Im affraid thats not acceptable. Many top people think the same.
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    (Original post by davidr30)
    So what you are saying is that, instead of paying what is necessary to attract the best person to deliver the best results for the Police, Councils etc, the public sector should be forced to not attract those people on the basis that they would earn more than the PM???
    David, I am not saying that at all. What I am saying here is that the public sector exists to serve the public interests of the British people. The office of the British Prime Minister is the Queen piece of the British public sector, and it is therefore UNETHICAL for 9000 British public servants to be paid more than the British Prime Minister.

    These public-servants will NOT carry as much responsibility, nor will they be accountable to the British public as much as the British Prime Minister. It does not seem just for this bold inequality to exist within the very sector that aims to empower public interests.



    (Original post by davidr30)
    To me, that seems incredibly simplistic thinking and completely un-pragmatic.
    David, I disagee entirely. There are two VIABLE options to consider here, in order for this to work pragmatically:

    Firstly, we increase the salary of our British Prime Minister to match the highest paid British public servant in the sector. Gradually, over time, we lift the PM's salary until such time that it sits at least 10 percent above every other public servant in the sector.

    Secondly, we place a salary cap on every other public servant in the country, beside the PM. This cap is situated 10 percent below the salary range of the British Prime Minister.




    There really is no complexity involved in such a maneuver, I think you simply over-analyse the job at hand here.
 
 
 
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