Row over inflation-busting rise in councillors' pay

 
Lincolnshire County Council Controversy at Lincolnshire County Council

Leading councillors in Lincolnshire have defended a decision to increase their allowances by 23%.

The move has been criticised by some councillors and campaigners from the Taxpayers' Alliance.

Lincolnshire's 77 county councillors will now be entitled to claim £10,100 a year in basic allowances.

The previous figure was £8,184.

Some members with extra duties can also claim a special responsibility allowance.

Lincolnshire County Council's Conservative leader Martin Hill said he would not accept a pay increase and insisted the new rate was recommended by an independent panel.

Speaking to BBC Look North, Councillor Hill said: "The panel has looked at the workload of councillors here and compared them with the remuneration received by councillors in other parts of the country.

"I think they have come up with a balanced picture, but it is up to each individual to decide whether they want to take this extra money."

Opposition councillors in Lincolnshire argued the rise was wrong at a time when many people in the county were facing a pay freeze.

'Adequate' allowances

The increase in allowances was opposed by Lincolnshire's youngest councillor, UKIP's Robin Hunter-Clarke, who is 21.

He said: "I did not enter public life to make money. I see being a councillor as a voluntary role and I think the current allowances are quite adequate."

The controversy surrounding councillors' expenses is reminiscent of the row over MPs' pay.

For many years MPs had a direct say on whether their salary should be increased.

Following the Westminster expenses scandal it became the responsibility of the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (IPSA) to set MPs' pay.

However, the latest recommendation by IPSA that MPs should receive an 11% pay rise was criticised by a number of senior politicians, including David Cameron, Ed Miliband and Nick Clegg.

Whether they are government ministers or local councillors, the prospect of our elected representatives voting themselves an inflation-busting pay rise appears to be largely unacceptable in the court of public opinion.

 
Tim Iredale, Political editor, Yorkshire & Lincolnshire Article written by Tim Iredale Tim Iredale Political editor, Yorkshire & Lincolnshire

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  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 11.

    Seems that local politicians are learning by example from national politicians, Never mind local and national elections are on the horizon, only vote for those that you think will commit to limiting or reducing allowable expenses and equally important that you trust with your money (taxes) - guess that means leave the voting paper blank

  • rate this
    +3

    Comment number 10.

    There is no walk in political life these days national local or European that is devoid of scandal & /or corruption these days. When challenged by people the stock reply is either I/we are entitled to whatever money is going & how dare you have the temerity to question it.
    Ordinary people are expected to put up with low pay zero hours virtual slavery. A tipping point will see the gallows going up.

  • rate this
    +4

    Comment number 9.

    6.realisticlogic
    6 Hours ago
    What do Lincs council do to incur expenses apart from travel to work sometimes?

    --

    Agree!! Lincolnshire as a county can be reached from North to South quite easiliy within a couple of hours so theres no need for hotels etc.

    I'd like to know what these 'expenses' are made up of.

    Its not like Councillors are MPs & need to take regular trips to London.

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 8.

    Wouldn't this money do better going to paying for the PCC's incurred costs? These scandals pay for themselves obviously.

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 7.

    I bet my local Jobcentre still won't book me in for an appointment so I can pay NI! Less money for the bodge job temporary measures used to maintain the roads and paths too. Next time you decide to resurface the paths LCC, do it properly, not just a screed on top that the weeds break through in 6 months.

 

Comments 5 of 11

 

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