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Big pay rises for MoJ mandarins

9 September 2009

Senior civil servants at the Ministry of Justice have been awarded pay rises ranging from 11 to 25 per cent, at a time when the ministry is trying to make £1bn in savings over three years.

The Law Society said this week that the MoJ’s plans for savage cuts in the pay of duty solicitors and defence advocates were “so deeply flawed” they could not be understood.

According to the MoJ’s annual report, permanent secretary Sir Suma Chakrabati earned at least £195,000 in the financial year to 31 March 2009, an increase of 11.5 per cent on the previous year. He also received benefits in kind worth £34,500, relating to use of a car.

Helen Edwards, director general of criminal justice and Sir Suma’s interim deputy, was awarded an increase of 13 per cent from April 2008, taking her salary to £175,000.

Peter Handcock, director general of access to justice at the MoJ, received a pay rise of 16 per cent, taking his pay from £125,000 to £145,000.

Neil Ward, interim chief executive of the Courts Service, who took early retirement in October 2008, received a ‘compensation payment’ of £175,000, together with his pension and associated lump sum.

Beverley Shears, outgoing director of human resources at the MoJ who left at the end of March 2009, received a 21 per cent pay rise from £140,000 to £170,000.

Rowena Collins-Rice, director general of democracy, constitution and law and the MoJ’s chief legal adviser, increased her salary from £100,000 to £125,000.

Phil Wheatley, director general of the National Offender Management Service, saw his pay rise from £150,000 to £170,000.

In contrast, the salary of justice secretary and Lord Chancellor Jack Straw rose by a mere 2.95 per cent to £142,470. Straw now earns less than seven of his top officials.

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