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PM told to make transparency fair

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Transparency rules for councils should be applied to the whole of the public sector, the LGA has told the government.

Local Government Association chair Baroness Margaret Eaton (Con) has written to the prime minister to argue that the public would not understand differing rules on transparency for different government organisations.

This follows communities secretary Eric Pickles’ request that council workers earning more than £58,200 are named online.

Mr Pickles also wants to make appointments with salaries over £100,000 the subject of full council approval.

However the rules will only apply to local authorities and other public sector bodies such as the civil service or the NHS have not been asked to meet the same standards of transparency.

Lady Eaton said: “Even assuming that these transparency proposals are the best way to deliver openness and public accountability in respect of senior pay, we believe it is very surprising that the government is not yet making parallel proposals for the same level of transparency and scrutiny in other parts of the public sector.”

The LGA said the majority of councils have also agreed to publish any expenditure over £500 which central government also requested as part of their drive for increased accountability and the association questioned why local government is being singled out with such stringent demands.

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