Charity and Generosity that begins and ends in the boardroom
The Tory Daily Mail is not my normal preferred reading but a friend, an old age pensioner who keeps asking me to join him down the British Legion, has drawn my attention to this item. It's a change from the Mail's usual targeting of immigrants, welfare claimants, and trade unionists.
The housing chief who earns
£1,000a day from the taxpayer
A public sector housing boss has secured an earnings package worth almost £1,000 a day.
John Belcher, whose organisation runs subsidised homes for the elderly, received taxpayer-funded salary and perks worth more than £360,000 last year.
This is nearly twice the £189,994 earned by Prime Minister Gordon Brown and dwarfs the earnings of the public servants who are traditionally the best paid.
Lord Phillips of Worth Matravers, who as Lord Chief Justice is head of the judiciary in England and Wales, earns £236,300, while Mervyn King, Governor of the Bank of England, is paid £290,000.
Dr Belcher, 61, chief executive of the Anchor Trust, has more than doubled the value of his pay package over seven years. He is thought to be the first public servant outside industries such as the Royal Mail, the railways and the BBC to earn more than £300,000.
Canadian-born Dr Belcher also serves on the Audit Commission, the public spending watchdog.
Last year he earned £327,000, including a £72,000 bonus and a car allowance of £15,000. He also received £1,000 in medical insurance and £32,880 in pension contributions, bringing the total to £360,880.
The package was condemned by critics of public spending waste.
The TaxPayers' Alliance said it was 'outrageous', while the Housing Corporation, which regulates housing associations, warned that 'salary increases should be proportionate'.
The pay of housing association chiefs shot up after the organisations expanded when councils hived off their housing estates to independent associations, which are often run by former town hall officials.
Many associations like to style themselves as businesses but a High Court judgment this summer ruled they were public bodies.
They are due for a further boost of £400million over the next few months under Gordon Brown's plans to build more social housing to ease the impact of the credit crunch.
Anchor Trust, once a small Oxford association, provides housing for 50,000 elderly people. It runs care homes and sells sheltered housing but its biggest operation is as a landlord of subsidised housing. It receives £600 million in housing grants from the Treasury.