Shadow chancellor Vince Cable revealed that under a Lib Dem administration, all public staff earning more than£100,000 a year would be forced to reapply for their jobs and take a pay cut if reappointed.
Announcing plans to cut the size of government, Mr Cable told the Lib Dem party conference in Bournemouth: “The coward’s way to do that is to sack or squeeze the pay of low-paid public sector workers.
“The correct way is to start at the top: require every non-front line public sector employee on£100,000 or more to reapply for their jobs. Those allowed back would take a cut in pay and public sector pension entitlement.” Mr Cable did not define ‘non-front line’.
Cllr Kemp said: “It has good intentions but it is barking mad and probably illegal.
“How could we possibly employ the people the public sector needs if we do not compete with private sector pay?”
A spokesman said: “We would not force local authorities to do this, but we would make it part of councils’ best practice.”