Magazine article Public Finance

'Councillor Salaries Should Be Frozen for the Next Two Years'

Magazine article Public Finance

'Councillor Salaries Should Be Frozen for the Next Two Years'

Article excerpt

Elected local officials in Scotland could face a two-year pay freeze as councils struggle to cope with the 'uncharted territory' of budget pressures.

The Scottish Local Authorities' Remuneration Committee, an independent public body established to advise the Scottish Government on councillors' pay, has recommended that salaries should remain at April 2009 levels until 2012.

If councillors' pay remains unchanged, it is expected that leaders will press for a similar freeze for council workers. But town hall staff opened the bidding by tabling a 3% pay claim for 2010 on November 25.

Committee chair Ian Livingstone said the recession meant 'we were venturing into uncharted territory' in considering future salary issues.

'In making our recommendation we considered salary increases currently being offered in both the public and private sectors.'

The president of the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities, Pat Watters, said: 'In the light of the current financial constraints we all find ourselves in, I can understand the recommendation in relation to a pay freeze for the next two years. …

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