John Armitt and David Higgins at the ODA accused of earning 'City banker' wages

Olympic chiefs came under pressure over pay from members of the London Assembly today.

The chairman and chief executive of the Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA), John Armitt and David Higgins respectively, were forced to defend their six-figure salaries. Armitt earns £250,000 for three days’ work and Higgins earns £641,000 including a £210,000 bonus, half of which he voluntarily deferred until 2012.

Brian Coleman, Conservative member for Barnet and Camden, said the pair earned “City bankers’ ” wages.

Armitt said: “I am paid a sensible market rate for the job that I’m doing. The job was one offered me by government. The pay reflects the job which I am doing and the jobs which I have done in the past, which enable me to do such a job as the one that I am doing.”

But Coleman accused the pair of being behind the times: “In a recession with spending cuts across the board […] how do you not justify [sic] re-examining those salary packages which frankly are in the league of city bankers?” “You’re not in the market economy and not the public sector, but being paid with taxpayers' money.”

Armitt said he had no plans to reduce his salary and added that he “would not dream” of asking Higgins to reduce his.

Accounts published in July showed that construction manager, Howard Shiplee, earned £362,000.