DOZENS of public servants are earning six figure salaries with huge pension contributions on top.

Essex County Council has more than 50 staff earning a basic salary of more than £100,000. This does not include the dozens earning bumper pay packets at schools or those whose bonuses, expenses or pension contributions, paid out of the public purse, tips them into the six-figure bracket.

The 2012/13 figures were released by the Taxpayers’ Alliance and show more than 2,000 council workers nationally broke the six-figure barrier, including two at Tendring Council.

They were Tendring’s former strategic director David Appleby, who received a £70,938 redundancy payment on top of his £77,613 salary and chief executive Ian Davidson who was paid £120,343 in 2012/13.

The council’s statement of accounts for 2013/14 show only Mr Davidson earned more than £100,000 last year.

He picked up £137,241, including pension contributions.

An Essex County Council spokesman said it was one of the largest local authorities in the country with an annual budget of more than £2billion.

He said: “It’s imperative, especially at a time when the council is having to radically change the way it works that we have talented and experienced people leading the organisation.

“To ensure we are able to attract and retain the services of these people we obviously need to pay competitive salaries.”

The top earner at County Hall is chief executive Joanna Killian who picked up more than £235,000 last year.