Public sector pay

Published: 24th Mar 2017

In brief


Chief executives at particular Welsh councils get paid about three times as much as MPs.


They get paid more, but not three times as much. The Chief Executive of Isle of Anglesey County Council gets paid £113,000 a year, compared to £76,000 for an MP. At Gwynedd it’s between £103,000 and £110,000.

 “I’ve got a couple of friends who are MPs, Conservative MPs actually, and I don’t think they are paid enough. The chief executives of Anglesey County Council and Gwynedd County Council are paid about three times more than an MP.”

BBC Question Time audience member, 23 March 2017

It’s not correct to say these Chief Executives are paid three times more than MPs.

The Chief Executive of Isle of Anglesey County Council in north-west Wales gets paid £113,000 a year. In neighbouring Gwynedd, it’s between £103,000 and £110,000.

The basic salary for a Member of Parliament anywhere in the UK is £76,000.

All these salaries are for the financial year beginning on 1 April 2017. The gap used to be wider. In 2014, for example, MPs were paid £67,000 and the Chief Executive at Anglesey £141,000—so about twice as much.

And exceptionally in 2010/11, when an Interim Managing Director was appointed to the council by the Welsh government, the salary was over three times that of an MP. The gentleman in the audience may have been thinking of that.

Council Chief Executives also oversee elections in their area, for which they can get extra fees. The Anglesey Chief Executive received an extra £3,000 for these duties a few years ago, according to a report by a Welsh Assembly committee, although we’re not sure how typical that is for this council. We’ve asked.

Whatever the situation is in these specific councils, the audience member may have a point in general. The average county council Chief Executive was paid something close to three times as much as an MP in 2012/13, according to a report by a committee of the latter using data from IDS Thomson Reuters, although they doesn’t specify whether it covers Wales as well as England

But comparing the salaries of local government senior managers with public representatives isn’t comparing like with like. They’re very different jobs.

Increases in MPs’ salaries are linked to average earnings across the whole of the public sector by the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority, although it points out that the job is “in many respects unique and performed in different ways by different MPs”.

Correction 24 March 2017

We corrected a typo in the last sentence.

Correction 4 April 2017

We corrected a spelling error.

This factcheck is part of a roundup of BBC Question Time. Read the roundup.


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