Network Rail chief tops Whitehall’s 2017 ‘high earners’ list

Written by Jim Dunton on 15 December 2017 in News
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Heywood and Manzoni salary bands remain unchanged from last year, but the number of government staff earning £150,000 or more rises 13%

Network Rail chief executive Mark Carne, left, with staff Credit: PA

Network Rail chief executive Mark Carne is government’s current highest earner, according to the latest set of Senior Civil Service salary data published by the Cabinet Office.

The 2017 figures detail 442 posts with salaries of £150,000 or more based on a snapshot of earnings in September. Carne’s salary at the head of the government-owned rail infrastructure firm is unchanged from last year in the band of £745,000-£749,999 according to the document, however in 2016 he had been out-earned by then High Speed Two chief executive Simon Kirby. 

Kirby’s successor Mark Thurston is second-placed on the high-earners list, with a salary band of £600,000-£649,999 including pension.


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Roles at Department for Transport-owned companies and regulator the Civil Aviation Authority accounted for 36 of the top 50 salaries on the list.

Nuclear Decommissioning Authority chief executive David Peattie is the highest-paid non-DfT staffer on the list, with a salary band of £365,000-£369,999 that includes a pension cash equivalent of £45,725.

Civil service chief executive and Cabinet Office permanent secretary John Manzoni’s salary band is given as £230,000-£234,999, unchanged from 2016. Cabinet secretary and civil service head Jeremy Heywood’s salary band was stated as £195,000 to £199,999 and unchanged from 2016.

Earning more than both Heywood and Manzoni is Department for International Trade chief negotiation adviser and second permanent secretary Crawford Falconer, whose salary band is given as £260,000 to £264,999. It is £100,000 a year more than DIT permanent secretary Antonia Romeo’s banding of £160,000-£164,999.

In August, Labour Party cabinet minister-turned National Infrastructure Commission chairman Lord Andrew Adonis claimed that Falconer had not been DIT's first choice for the role, but that a pay dispute with Canadian negotiation expert Jonathan Fried had led to him turning down the post. The department insisted Adonis was "incorrect".

The 2017 high earners list identifies 442 posts that pay £150,000 a year or more, up from 389 in 2016. Individual job holders for 16 Network Rail roles were not identified.

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