Belfast Telegraph

A quarter of charities refuse to disclose bosses' salaries

By Adrian Rutherford

We donate millions of pounds to charity every year, but a quarter of organisations surveyed refused to disclose their bosses' salaries.

Thirteen of the 60 charities contacted declined to provide details of their chief executive's earnings.

Among those who did not respond was the USPCA, Northern Ireland's leading animal charity.

According to its latest report, the charity's income in 2012/13 was £2,116,609 – a 220% increase on the 2012 figure of £660,539. It spent £153,861 on salaries in 2012/13.

A USPCA spokesman declined to say how much of that was earned by chief executive Stephen Philpott. He said: "(The charity trustees) are presently reviewing the chief executive's contract and feel it is inappropriate to comment at this time." The Royal British Legion, which is behind the annual Poppy Appeal, also withheld details of its Northern Ireland officials.

A spokesperson said: "The Royal British Legion reports salary bands of its senior executives in its annual report available online."

RNIB – which raises money for the blind – said its Northern Ireland director's salary corresponds to "band 2 on the NJC pay scale", but declined to clarify what this meant.

Children in Need also declined to provide details of its main Northern Ireland official. A BBC spokesperson said: "We report our salaries in accordance with charity regulation. However, we only disclose the specific salary of our UK-wide chief executive. This is in our annual report."

The British Red Cross said its policy was to only disclose salaries over £60,000, and no staff in Northern Ireland fell within this band.

Cancer Research said: "Our chief executive is based in London and while we do have hard working fundraising and communications staff based in Northern Ireland, they work at an operational level on-the-ground and we do not feel it is appropriate to share their salary details."

Groundwork NI said: "It is not Groundwork NI policy to disclose remuneration details for any individual staff member."

Birth control charity Marie Stopes – whose highest overall earner is known to receive over £290,000 a year – declined to comment, but said it published detailed breakdowns of its finances in annual reports.

Parenting NI, Age Sector Platform, Women's Aid and the Lyric Theatre declined to comment.

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