Millions of pounds of tax payers money is paid to private consultancy firms, who generally deliver on the instructions they receive. The very first port of call should be to consult the staff most involved with those areas of work under discussion on where potential savings could be made. Consultants, with the best will in the world, will not have the root and branch knowledge (and experience) of someone who has worked in these sectors and knows roughly what could/should be cut and what could/should not. Consult the staff first and bring the consultants in only if the chief officers have trouble making a decision between cuts to ,for example, child protection or policy and performance units.
Chief Officers pay should not exceed that of the Prime Minister. The reason speaks for itself.
If all staff received the same wage decrease/increase it would be much fairer than the system which currently exists and which recently saw some chief officers receive 15% pay increases while the rest of the staff received 1%. It should be about a system which is fair for all.