Thursday, 19 February 2009

Another Brownie identified?

Paul Waugh in The Standard writes:
"Perhaps inspired by yesterday's spin success on a 'crackdown' on RBS bonuses, Gordon pushed the boat out today with a similar attack on civil servants's pay top-ups.

Unfortunately, it seems that the PM 'misspoke' when he claimed that Cabinet Secretary Sir Gus O'Donnell had unveiled a ban on all bonuses for senior Whitehall staff.

"The Permanent Secretary to the Civil Service has just announced that all senior civil servants and permanent secretaries will not receive bonuses" he said.

But the Cabinet Office has now pointed out that only a handful of the 4,000 senior civil servants in Whitehall were actually waiving their bonuses this year.

A spokesman said that those involved totalled less than a dozen. They include people such as the Chief Medical Officer and the NHS chief exec and other "senior advisers".

Yet for all those senior staff below these top appointments - ie the 3,988 others - the Government is merely proposing to the SSRB that "the level of non-consolidated payments should be frozen in the coming year". That means that their bonuses could be frozen - not removed altogether- this year, should the SSRB agree."

Are these "Brownies" deliberate or does Gordon Brown really believe the claims he makes?

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