Tuesday, 24 February 2009

Huge pay rise for Labour Council leader - New Poll

Liberal Democrats on Redcar & Cleveland Council have condemned a proposal to raise the pay of the Council’s Labour leader by 33.8%.

The recommendation to raise the Leader’s special responsibility allowance from £12,550 to £19,710 comes in a report from the Independent Remuneration Panel, to be discussed by the Council on 2 March.

But local Liberal Democrats are horrified by the proposal to increase allowances so much during a recession.

At a time when people are losing jobs, struggling to pay bills and the country is in the deepest recession for 60 years, we should not be even considering giving the Leader of the Council such a massive pay boost.

If Labour vote this recommendation through next week it will be highly insensitive and a slap in the face to hard-working families in our borough.

It is also particularly galling that the Labour leader himself was such a critic of increases in Councillors’ allowances when in opposition and now in control he wants to almost double his own special allowance.

Reading the report it is clear that this was more than a recommendation from the Independent Panel. It was, in fact, requested by the Labour leader himself and his colleagues on the cabinet.

The Independent Remuneration Panel is recommending a rise in the basic allowance (paid to all Council members) from £9,290 to £9,520 (roughly in line with inflation). But should the Labour Leader be allowed to almost double his special allowance? Please see our new poll on the right.

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