U.K. leader to name and shame big earners

If elected, David Cameron will focus on Ofcom, TV channels

LONDON -- Opposition Conservative Party leader David Cameron has promised to name and shame Ofcom, BBC and Channel 4 executives earning more than £150,000 ($223,000) a year, if the party wins the next election.

The move, which is part of Conservative plans to cut public spending, would see the names of all public employees across health, social care, media and education who earned more than the Prime Minister published online, a spokeswoman for the party said.

Cameron, a former corporate communications executive at media group Carlton Television, said the plan is part of a campaign to expose high earners in government jobs.

"Let's see which officials have been getting rich at the taxpayer's expense -- and whether they're worth the money," the Tory leader said in a speech, which called for frontline workers to be employed as opposed to "fat cats."

Cameron singled out Ofcom chief executive Ed Richards for criticism.

"Ed Richards at Ofcom, he earns over £400,000 ($595,000) a year," Cameron said. "In fact, if you took the top 30 salaries at Ofcom, the communications watchdog, you could provide the whole of Cheltenham with free broadband access."

Ofcom declined comment on the speech, but said that its salaries were competitive.

"Ofcom pays only what is necessary to ensure it is competitive in the communications industry, where average earnings for senior executives are typically substantially higher than at Ofcom," it said.

The BBC confirmed that 339 of its staff earned more than the threshold, while Channel 4 said that 91 staffer earn more than £100,000 ($149,000).

Both broadcasters said their salaries are competitive with market rates.