THE state government is recruiting two $400,000-a-year executives who will be tasked with deepening the cuts to the public service, where 2000 education and health workers already face the axe.
The additions to Treasurer Mike Baird's razor gang will qualify for a one-off, $43,000 ''recruitment allowance'' and an annual bonus of $43,000 to top up their maximum base pay of $402,150. The starting pay for a teacher in NSW is $44,000.
The new positions, to be known as ''associate secretaries'', are a new level of bureaucrat directly underneath the Treasury secretary, Philip Gaetjens.
Last week, The Sun-Herald revealed Mr Gaetjens, in his other role as the chairman of the NSW Treasury Corporation - known as TCorp - approved a $5 million refurbishment of the corporation's swanky city headquarters.
The revelation led Mr Baird to blast TCorp's ''misjudgment''. He pledged the money outlaid on the ''totally unacceptable'' refurbishment would be recouped. It is likely that TCorp will be forced to look for new premises.
Recruitment documents show the two new roles at Treasury will be on an ''SES 7'' pay grade, one below the highest rate paid to any bureaucrat. One position will be tied to the ''resource allocation group'', which, according to NSW Treasury, will oversee ''resource prioritisation and reprioritisation within clusters''. The role will look at streamlining opportunities in the health, education, police, justice, family, community and emergency services sectors.
Mr Gaetjens defended the appointments, saying Treasury would stay within its labour expense cap.
''I have implemented a major change program within Treasury to improve effectiveness in line with the recommendations of the Schott report. NSW Treasury is the smallest treasury per capita of any state and territory in the country,'' he said.
But the shadow treasurer, Michael Daley, said: ''At a time when the government is cutting $4.7 billion from schools and hospitals, there is no excuse for spending millions of dollars appointing new Treasury fat cats.
''This is an obscene waste of money. Mike Baird's new Treasury head honchos will be paid more than the president of the United States but, meanwhile, kids in public schools are being hit by budget cuts.
''This money would be better spent paying the salaries of 37 teachers for a year rather than hiring Treasury officials whose main job will be sacking frontline workers.''