For a department renowned for its largesse when it comes to remuneration, it is difficult to understand why the Department of Health is being so parsimonious when it comes to the salary for the chair of the new Care Quality Commission.

The going rate of just under£61,000 is poor in comparison with similar posts, and fails to reflect the role's importance.

Overseeing a budget of£155m will be the easy part. The new chair will require political guile, exceptional media skills, fine judgement, first class leadership and a thick skin to make the commission a success. It is a task made all the more challenging by the need to merge three cultures and three workstreams.

The government has sometimes struggled with its appointment of regulator chairs. There have been some inspired choices, but one or two have bombed, while others have been forced to walk the plank for discomfiting ministers with their forthright views.

To make this appointment work the DH needs to draw from a wide pool of talent of the highest calibre. They may fail if they do not pay the right rate for the job.