TOWN hall bosses in South Tyneside today defended the number of staff paid more than £50,000.
The local authority had 90 officials paid a salary above that figure, a collective £5.8m wage bill, in 2011/12.
But council chiefs say they have, in fact, axed 19 high-earning roles since 2010/11, as part of their cost-cutting measures to save £75m during the past three years.
A council spokesman added: “As a result, the number of senior management posts was reduced, generating long-term savings.
“This process has been supported by residents, who told us during consultation that they wanted us to prioritise frontline services and reduce the number of senior management posts.”
New figures from the Taxpayers’ Alliance show 28,754 local authority staff earned more than £50,000 in 2011/12.
Matthew Sinclair, chief executive of the TaxPayers’ Alliance, said: “Councillors need to insist that their local authority does more to find savings and cut back on staff costs that residents cannot afford.”