Coulson escapes salary headline

Readers may be wondering why David Cameron’s Director of Communications and Planning, Andy Coulson, was not included in this morning’s list of “top civil service fat cats” splashed across a number of papers.

The simple answer is that the list only includes salaries paid up to 31 March 2010. But Mr Coulson, currently working in No. 10 Downing St, will be expected to top next year’s list if his reported salary of £475,000 turns out to be nearly half true.

The top civil servant on the list, John Fingleton earns just 59 per cent of the former News of the World Editor’s salary, which is equivalent to 20 times the national average.Someone on the London living wage of £7.60 would have to work for over 34 years to earn the reported amount.

Last month, David Cameron announced that Will Hutton would lead a review into public sector pay. According to the Guardian:

“Before the election, the [Conservative] party promised to set up the fair pay review to ensure no senior manager in the public sector could earn more than 20 times the lowest paid person in their organisation.”

When asked why Mr Coulson’s salary was excluded from the list, a Conservative party spokesman laughed and diverted Left Foot Forward to the Cabinet Office. A civil service press officer outlined that only salaries paid in 2009-10 were included.

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