A leading opposition councillor in Wirral has given a caustic response to revelations from the TaxPayers' Alliance over sky-high pay packets for senior officials.

The "Town Hall Rich List" shows the council's chief executive Eric Robinson has an annual salary  of £178,5000 - the Prime Minister earns £142,500 per year.

Tory group spokesman Cllr Ian Lewis said: "You'd think Wirral Council was a high-flying, super efficient authority judging by the figures released by the Taxpayers Alliance.

"But, as we know, the salaries of those at the top of this council are virtually unconnected to performance nowadays. 

"We have too many senior directors, interim directors and consultants earning mega bucks while the lowest paid staff have seen pay frozen or in some cases cut. 

"Why should anyone in Wirral Council be paid more than this country's Prime Minister?"

The Globe has asked council leader Cllr Phil Davies for a comment but so far he has not responded.

The Alliance list identified nationally at least 2,314 staff whose total remuneration exceeded six figures in 2015-16 - up 89 on the previous year.

A total of 539 council employees also received packages worth more than £150,000 - up 53 on the previous year.

In Wirral the data says an "unknown" strategic director received a total of £371,848 and that Mr Robinson was paid £182,000.

However these figures have been refuted by the local authority.

A spokesman for the council said: "This information is published by the Taxpayers' Alliance every year - and every year is inaccurate.

"In this particular case the salary quoted for the chief executive is wrong - and there are no council officers earning more than £300,000."

Details of all chief officer salaries at Wirral is available online at wirral.gov.uk/about-council/performance-and-spending/chief-officer-pay.

There are seven other senior officers in Wirral getting more than six-figure salaries.

John O'Connell, chief executive of the group which campaigns for smaller government and lower taxes, said: "The average council tax bill has gone up by more than £900 over the last 20 years and spending has gone through the roof.

"Disappointingly, many local authorities are now responding to financial reality through further tax rises and reducing services rather than scaling back top pay.

"Despite many in the public sector facing a much-needed pay freeze to help bring the public finances under control, many town hall bosses are continuing to pocket huge remuneration packages, with the number of people on six-figure deals actually going up since last year."

He added: "There are talented people in the public sector who are trying to deliver more for less, but the sheer scale of these packages raises serious questions about efficiency and priorities."

The annual study found Southwark Council was the local authority with the most employees receiving remuneration over £100,000, 44 staff members, an increase of 25 on the previous year.

There were 68 councils with at least ten employees getting more than £100,000.

And it found Dave Smith, Sunderland City Council's chief executive, had the largest total pay package, picking up £625,570, including a pay-off of £185,470 and pension contributions of £331,414, the Alliance found.