More Birmingham City Council staff are paid over £50,000 a year than is the case at any other local authority in the country, it is revealed today.

Some 823 employees - just under two per cent of the total workforce - earn more than £960 a week according to research by the TaxPayers' Alliance.

The figure is far higher than the UK average for local councils of 66 people on packages over £50,000.

TaxPayers' Alliance chief executive Matthew Elliott said: "With council tax doubling in the past decade, it's extremely disappointing that town halls have chosen to hire a new class of middle managers, many of whom are being paid more than MPs."

The growth in high-paid staff is more than double the rate seen in the rest of the economy, where numbers with remuneration of £50,000 or more have gone up by around three times, said the TPA, which campaigns for lower taxes.

The average council spent more than £4 million on these staff in 2006/07, with a total bill for more than 30,000 high-earners across the country of almost £2 billion - the equivalent of £1 in every £11 raised from council tax.

Some 12,600 local authority staff were equalling or outstripping MPs with packages of £60,000 or more.

Mr Elliott said the growth in middle management numbers came against a backdrop of increases in average council tax for a band D property from £646 to £1,248 over the past decade.

Meanwhile, town hall bosses were arguing that they needed to cut frontline services like rubbish collection and care for the elderly in order to avoid council tax capping by central Government.