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Westminster GP pockets more than £400,000-a-year

PUBLISHED: 17:08 24 September 2010 | UPDATED: 11:17 28 September 2010

A WESTMINSTER GP is the third highest paid family doctor in the country, an investigation into public sector pay has revealed.

The unnamed medic pockets a massive annual salary of £406,060, which is more than twice as much as the Prime Minister’s £142,500 pay packet.

The report also showed that Westminster has 26 employees who earn more than £100,000-a-year, leading the borough to be ranked fifth out the 10 local authorities who have the largest number of top public sector earners.

The figures were uncovered by a BBC investigation in which journalists from Panorama requested pay details from a wide range of the UK’s publicly funded organisations, including councils, schools, universities, the BBC, the NHS and the government agencies known as quangos.

Campaign manager Emma Boon, from the lobby group Taxpayers’ Alliance, welcomed the publication of the salaries but said they showed how out of control public sector pay had become. “Taxpayers will be staggered to find out that there are so many high paid staff in Westminster. It is becoming increasingly clear that remuneration for senior staff has got out of hand and there needs to be restraint in order to get the country through a fiscal crisis without imposing an even greater burden on hard working taxpayers.

“This kind of transparency is extremely valuable, Westminster taxpayers should know how their money is being spent and be able to decide for themselves if they are getting good value from pay for public sector bosses.”

Pensioner Eileen Crawford, from the Church Street area, also slammed the high pay levels.

“Why haven’t they had a pay freeze like everyone else. I think it’s disgraceful when you’ve got so many people unemployed,” she said.

“A GP does a good job but a surgeon in a hospital does as well and I bet they don’t earn anywhere near that. There’s no justification.”

However, one Marylebone resident, John Falding, said public sector staff should not be crucified for taking home huge salaries if they were doing a good job.

He said: “If this GP is giving the service that we used to know then he’s worth his weight in gold.”

A spokeswoman for Westminster Primary Care Trust defended the £406,060 GP salary, explaining that family doctors’ pay is dependant on their levels of responsibility and the patient services they deliver.

She said: “GPs earning higher salaries may offer more than just basic GP care, offering services such as minor patient surgery, screenings or diabetes care.

“These are services which have previously been offered in hospital and can allow for increased earnings for GPs to recognise the additional workload and patient care.”


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