UP to 15,000 council workers earning more than £58,000 a year are set to be named under government plans to cut out spending waste.
Local government secretary Eric Pickles is set to order councils to publish lists of their highest paid staff and what they do.
The move is aimed at forcing authorities to justify the spending and make them focus on cutting middle management payments rather than frontline services.
Local authorities have in turn warned the list could prompt attacks.
Official figures show council spending has risen more than 20 per cent in the last three years to over £2.4bn.
Some authorities have threatened to increase charges or cut services such as libraries, social services and road mending when steep central government funding cuts comes into effect in April.