NHS managers 'paid less than in UK'
Northern Ireland's health minister has hit back at claims that NHS managers are overpaid.
Senior staff are paid significantly less than in other parts of the UK, Michael McGimpsey said.
On Tuesday, the DUP said the £250 million a year bill for high earners in quangos should be reduced.
Mr McGimpsey responded: "I would suggest that people get their facts right rather than make unfounded and incorrect statements. Unfortunately it would appear that some individuals are more intent on cheap headlines and scaremongering of the worst kind.
"This type of political point scoring is a direct attack on all those people who work so hard to deliver high quality care to the people of Northern Ireland."
This week it emerged 3,430 people earn £50,000 to £100,000 each year and 967 earn more than £100,000 per year in Government agencies and arm's length bodies.
DUP Assembly member Jonathan Craig, who received the figures after tabling a question at Stormont, said 920 people in health agencies were in the highest wage bracket. The Lagan Valley representative said the figures proved there was room for major savings.
Mr McGimpsey said the number of administrative staff has reduced by almost 1,500 while the number of senior executives has been cut by 57%. Around £49 million of savings will be released each year from April 2011.
The minister added: "As for the suggestion that chief executives and senior managers are overpaid - where is the evidence to support this?
"A comparison of salaries in Northern Ireland with similar NHS posts across the UK shows that our senior managers are paid significantly less even when they work in larger organisations."