172 civil servants paid more than the Prime Minister

Names of civil servants who earn over £150,000 released for the first time as part of transparency d

The government has released the names of 172 civil servants who earn in excess of £150,000 -- more than Prime Minister David Cameron's £142,500-a-year salary.

The salaries of the highest-earning civil servants were revealed for the first time in a bid to aid transparency. The top earner on the list is John Fingleton, the chief executive of the Office of Fair Trading, who earns between £275,000 and £279,999 a year. The chief executive of the NHS, David Nicholson, earns up to £259,999.

Only government employees who agreed to their earnings bracket being published were included in the list, with eleven refusing to reveal the information. The coalition plans to publish the name, job title and earnings of every civil service employee earning more than £58,000 by next year.

Cabinet Office Minister Francis Maude said: "By being open and accountable we can start to win back people's trust. Openness will not be comfortable for us in government, but it will enable the public to hold our feet to the fire. This way lies better government."

He added that "transparency" will enable the public to help "deliver better value for money in public spending".