£900 a day to review the CSA

Sir David Henshaw, the former chief executive of Liverpool council, who was appointed by the government to scrap the Child Support Agency (CSA) is being paid £900 a day. This is a higher daily rate than the country's most senior civil servant, according to the Department for Work and Pensions. The money is equivalent to £234,000 a year. Sir Gus O'Donnell, the cabinet secretary, gets just over £220,000.

Following a freedom of information request from the Guardian, the Department of Work and Pensions released Henshaw's payment details for a three-day week and disclosed that ministers did not draw up a short list of candidates for the post.

David Laws, Liberal Democrat spokesman on works and pensions, criticised the secrecy and manner of the appointment: "It is absurd that the Guardian had to apply under FOI to get his salary and it would suggest that ministers are somewhat embarrassed about the figure, coming after just rejecting a review by Stephen Geraghty, the agency's chief executive." Mark Serwotka, general secretary of the Public and Civil Service union, said: "Our members, many of them very low paid, will be understandably angry that someone is being paid £900 a day to effectively review another review for the future of the agency."

No 10's man to get paid £900 a day to scrap CSA (The Guardian, 30 May 2006)