Special advisers go unpaid in Big Society sacrifice

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There’s been lots of huffing and puffing about Andy Coulson’s pay since the government published the civil servant “rich list”.

But the truth is that most special advisers are working without a contract. Nothing has been officially sorted and no one has been paid a penny — yet. It’s almost Cameron’s Big Society in action.

You can understand why the publication of the special advisers pay list (expected over the next couple of days) is being keenly awaited, rather than feared. The SpAds will finally be told what they’re going to earn, along with the rest of the country.

It will be interesting to see whether the publication of individual salaries will make any difference at all. Given what a fuss Cameron has made about cutting the number and cost of special advisers, I expect there will be some severe pay cuts (Hilton, Coulson?). But those who have been promoted from researchers could expect quite a bump up from their meagre CCHQ salaries.

Let’s see what the bright light of transparency will bring.

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