HIGH salaries of Isle of Wight Council officers earning more than £100,000 per year have come under the spotlight in a list put together by the Taxpayers' Alliance.

Some are being made more in yearly pension contributions, than many people get in their annual salary.

The Island's highest paid officers appeared on the Town Hall Rich List 2021 for 2019/20.

Isle of Wight Council chief executive John Metcalfe earned £132,358, plus £250 classed as 'other', equalling £132,608. Add in his pension, £31,104, and he cost taxpayers £163,712.

Director of adult social services, Carol Tozer, earned £119,215, plus pension £28,015, equalling £147,230.

Director of regeneration, Chris Ashman, had a salary of £108,931, plus pension of £25,599, taking the total to £134,530.

Director of corporate services, Claire Shand, was paid £99,374 plus an unspecified 'other' £6,303, equalling £105,677. Her annual pension totalled £23,353, equalling a cost to taxpayers of £129,030.

Director of neighbourhoods, Colin Rowland, earned £102,498, plus a pension of £24,087, totalling £126,585.

Assistant chief executive and chief strategy officer, Wendy Perera, earned £97,552 plus a pension of £22,925, taking the total to £120,477.

With families now facing higher council tax bills, new polling showed the overwhelming majority of people opposed increases by a four to one margin, and 59 per cent of people said councils should freeze or cut top salaries to help keep bills down.

The TaxPayers’ Alliance provided a council-by-council breakdown, calling on all local authorities to stop council tax rises and cut down on wasteful spending.

The average number of employees who received over £100,000 in total remuneration per local authority was seven. The Isle of Wight has six.

However, other costs include payments to consultants, and partnerships with other councils where expertise is shared.

In the South East, for the third year running, the local authority with the most employees who received remuneration in excess of £100,000 in 2019-20 was Kent with 29.

The biggest remuneration package in this region was received by West Sussex's chief executive, who got £427,653.

John O’Connell, chief executive of the TaxPayers' Alliance, said: “Taxpayers facing huge and hated council tax rises want to know they are getting value for money from their local authority leadership.

“At the onset of the coronavirus crisis, thousands of town hall officials were taking home huge sums.

"While councils were plunged into tackling the pandemic, many staff will have more than earned their keep, but households have nevertheless struggled with enormous and unpopular council tax rises.

“These figures shine a light on the town hall bosses who’ve got it right, and will enable residents to hold those who aren’t delivering value for money to account.”

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