Belfast Telegraph

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Attention focuses on Northern Ireland's top earners

By Adrian Rutherford

Published 14/11/2015

Paddy Nixon, Ulster University: £250,000
Paddy Nixon, Ulster University: £250,000
Richard Barnett, Ulster University: £221,722
Matt Baggott, PSNI: £194,995
George Hamilton, PSNI: £153,745
David Cameron, Prime Minister: £142,500

The Belfast Telegraph has been highlighting the issue of six-figure salaries in the public sector all this week.

More than 150 staff at Northern Ireland's two universities have remuneration packages of £100,000-plus, when pension contributions were factored in.

The majority - 126 staff - were based at Queen's.

One employee received a total package of £305,000 in the 2013/14 financial year.

Eleven other QUB staff received packages of £200,000 or more.

The top-paid employee at Ulster University during 2013/14 was Professor Richard Barnett, then vice-chancellor, who received a total of £221,722.

His successor Paddy Nixon earns a salary of £250,000.

Peter Hope, the university's chief finance and information officer, received £154,233 in the same year.

Another 24 staff at Ulster University earned £100,000 or more.

Meanwhile, 65 PSNI officers received remuneration in excess of £100,000 in the same 12 month period. Judith Gillespie, who stepped down in March 2014, had the force's biggest remuneration package.

It is not clear whether her £196,543 total included a severance payment linked to her departure.

Five other senior officers received £150,000 or more, including Matt Baggott (£194,995), Alistair Finlay (£154,556), George Hamilton (£153,745), Will Kerr (£151,920) and Drew Harris (£151,684).

Meanwhile, a consultant at the Western Health and Social Care Trust was paid almost £350,000. In total, 1,065 employees of health trusts received six-figure salaries during 2013/14. A quarter - 249 employees - earned £150,000-plus.

In terms of local government, 15 council bosses received £100,000-plus.

Three had two officials on £100,000-plus a year, researchers found. These were the former Ards Borough Council, Ballymena Borough Council and Derry City Council.

To put the salaries in context, Prime Minister David Cameron earns £142,500 a year.

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