Hospital and NHS trusts across Birmingham and the West Midlands will be forced to justify paying massive salaries to senior staff, after Gordon Brown accused them of losing touch with reality.
They will be caught up in a new Government drive to clamp down on “excessive salaries and unjustified bonuses” in the public sector.
Health trusts and other public bodies will need to release a public explanation every time they make an appointment where the annual salary is more than £150,000.
But the measure will not apply to people already in their posts - such as Mark Goldman, Chief Executive of Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust, who is paid £237,000.
The Trust runs Heartlands, Solihull and Good Hope hospitals.
Other high earners include Julie Moore, Chief Executive of University Hospital Birmingham, which runs the Queen Elizabeth and Selly Oak hospitals. She earns £207,500.
The Prime Minister’s own salary is £194,250. Andy Burnham, the Health Secretary, earns £144,520.
Mr Brown announced the clampdown in a speech on public service reform in the run-up to the pre-budget report tomorrow [WED], which is expected to include a series a tax hikes for the most wealthy.
The public sector changes are the brainchild of Birmingham MP Liam Byrne (Lab Hodge Hill), the Chief Secretary to the Treasury, who has been working with the Prime Minister on ways of saving money without reducing the quality of services.
They include moving at least ten per cent of the 132,000 civil servants based in London and the south east to other parts of the country.
In a hard-hitting speech, Mr Brown said: “Of course, public service is admirable and important and it deserves fair reward, but we must never forget that our priority is excellence at the frontline.
“In the wider public sector, some senior pay and perks packages have lost sight of this goal and lost touch with the reality of people’s lives.
“Money which should be spent on health, on schools, on policing, and on social services is in some cases going on excessive salaries and unjustified bonuses far beyond the expectations of the majority of workers. This culture of excess must change and will change.”
The Chief Secretary to the Treasury, currently Mr Byrne, would personally approve any appointment with a salary above £150,000 if it was subject to ministerial approval, he said.
This would not include hospital managers. However, Mr Brown continued: “Where senior managerial appointments are not directly under government control we will expect the organisations in question to justify publicly to the relevant Secretary of State any salaries or bonus payments at or above this level.
Those organisations found to be squandering public funds on over generous salaries for officials, at the expense of services for people, will be named and shamed.”
Other positions which could be caught by the new rules include the Medical Director of Shewsbury and Telford Hospitals NHS Trust, who is paid more than £185,000.
The Chief Executive of Sandwell and West Birmingham Hospitals NHS Trust, which runs City Hospital in Birmingham, was paid between £150,000 and £155,000 in the 2008-9 financial year. So was the Director of Public Health at Sandwell Primary Care Trust and the Director of Public Health at South Birmingham PCT.
High earners in other public services include Paul Spooner, West Midlands regional director of the Homes and Communities Agency, who received a salary of £113,000 as well as a bonus of £17,000, taxable benefits of £6,000 and pension contributions of £28,000, bringing the total package to £184,000.
Mick Laverty, Chief Executive of Advantage West Midlands, received a salary of £137,381, performance pay of £11,689 and pension costs of £29,988, a total package of £179,058.