As part of the new Government's commitment to openness, it was revealed that 172 civil servants earn more than the prime minister, with remuneration packages worth at least £150,000. Collectively, these high-fliers cost £29m.
Topping the Whitehall rich list is John Fingleton, CEO of the Office of Fair Trading, on an annual package of almost £280,000 a year, and NHS chief executive David Nicholson, who earns nearly £260,000.
Next year, Cameron has promised to publish the details of every government official earning more than £58,000 a year. It kills two birds with one stone: it takes some heat off MPs after the expenses scandal and prepares Whitehall for an era of pay restraint. The Audit Commission was one of the first casualties, as the £240,000 package it was offering for a new CEO was vetoed by communities secretary Eric Pickles. This means interim boss Eugene Sullivan will stay put for the time being - and continue enjoying a package reckoned at £235,000.