Five senior figures at Kettering Council received pay, benefits and expenses of £500,000 in a year when the authority was forced to make £1.9m ofsavings.
Figures for 2011-12 show that the five senior employees at Kettering Council received some £494,000 between them.
The package for chief executive David Cook was £148,000, with £1,000 claimed in expenses.
Kettering Council portfolio holder for finance Alison Wiley said: “Financially, we are much better than our neighbours.
“We didn’t raise council tax or make any frontline services cuts last year and there were zero cuts to voluntary sector grants – that is down to the hard work of the senior figures at the council.
“If you look around, we’ve got the most balanced budget in Northamptonshire and we feel that shows the chief executive and the other senior bosses deliver.
“It’s a system that works.”
With pension contributions accounted for, the top five senior officials – the chief executive, three deputy chief executives, and the head of finance – were paid a total of £555,000.
This is £7,000 more than those five figures were paid in 2010-11.
This financial year, the council needs to make £1.3m worth of savings, which brings down the annual budget to £12.7million. The total amount of allowances paid out to councillors in 2011-12 was £268,279.
The authority also has 11 employees that earn more than £50,000 a year.
Residents gave a mixed response to the figures revealed by the Telegraph.
Peter White, 83, of Hawthorn Road, Kettering, said: “Should they really get all that money when there are people having to struggle?
“They don’t seem to be doing anything.
“All you hear is we don’t want to do that and you don’t want to do this.”
Clark Mitchell, of Sycamore Close, Kettering, said: “I will not begrudge five top senior officials for getting paid that sort of money.
After all, you have to pay top, high quality wages to get the high quality people needed for the job.”
Patricia Asbrey, of Broadway, Kettering, said: “I think that it is far too much money when people are losing their jobs and others are taking pay cuts.”