TOWN HALL FAT CATS' HYPOCRISY; Revealed: How Earnings Rose as Councils Pleaded Poverty Councils Plan Tax Hike amid Row over Fat Cats' Salaries

Daily Mail (London), January 4, 2016 | Go to article overview

TOWN HALL FAT CATS' HYPOCRISY; Revealed: How Earnings Rose as Councils Pleaded Poverty Councils Plan Tax Hike amid Row over Fat Cats' Salaries


Byline: Graham Grant Home Affairs Editor

THE number of town hall fat cats has soared by nearly 20 per cent in a year - just as they threaten to hammer Scots with higher bills.

Cash-strapped local authorities are demanding an end to the council tax freeze, with some even planning to slash teacher numbers in an effort to make vital savings.

But their case has been undermined by an analysis which reveals an 18 per cent increase in the number of taxpayer-funded pay and pension deals worth more than PS100,000 awarded to senior officials.

In one case, a now-retired principal libraries officer at East Lothian Council, Alison Hunter, had earnings of PS214,512 in a year - and still claimed expenses of PS95.

Stirling Council paid an employee remuneration of PS293,935 but it refused to identify the individual on the grounds that it would be not be 'fair and lawful'.

The figures come as local authorities threaten to introduce the first council tax Turn to Page 4 Continued from Page One hike in eight years following an extraordinary bust-up between town halls and Finance Secretary John Swinney.

Tory MSP Alex Johnstone said: 'Hardworking Scots will be appalled that so much of their hard-earned cash is going on lining the pockets of town hall bosses.

'No one doubts that working in the public sector is a demanding job but packages and bonuses should only be rewarded for a good job done well, and there should be evidence to back this up.

'Instead of frittering away taxpayers' money, councils should be looking at spending this cash on essential front-line services, such as social care.' The TaxPayers' Alliance (TPA) examined the pay and pensions of senior officials at Scottish councils and found 251 earned more than PS100,000 in 2013-14 - the year covered by its study - up from 213 in 2012-13 and from 205 in 2011-12.

The study, using freedom of information data, found Glasgow City Council employed 30 people with remuneration of more than PS100,000 - the highest number in Scotland - five of whom earned more than PS150,000, including chief executive George Black, who received PS199,003. …

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