Friday, 14 July 2017

You wouldn’t believe it …

The BBC reports that the Home Office has just been fined nearly £370,000 for breaching the government's senior salary pay cap by agreeing to pay the current chair of the child sex abuse inquiry, Professor Alexis Jay, £185,000 a year. The previous chair of the inquiry, New Zealander Dame Lowell Goddard, was paid more than £350,000 in 2015-16, plus about another £100,000 in expenses.

I know that a lot of people believe that the child sex abuse inquiry is very important because it is hoped that it will expose widespread unacceptable practices. But at a time when services to abused and neglected children and young people face an unprecedented squeeze between increased demand, on the one hand, and shrinking funding on the other, I feel that paying eye watering sums of money to get inquiries chaired sends out all the wrong messages.

If important people like Professor Jay and Dame Lowell qualify to have the cap on their salaries disregarded, it is difficult to see why those working at the front line should have to struggle on with capped, and therefore shrinking, salaries.