In a move that will outrage local taxpayers as they face council tax bills edging towards £1,400 on Band D bills from April, the Labour-dominated ‘Councillors Commission’ is to recommend shocking cash handouts for councillors across the board. The plans also include a systematic dismantling of rules introduced in the 1980s to protect local taxpayers from ‘loony left’ councils and ‘jobs for the boys’ corruption:
Higher salaries for all councillors is demanded – including parish councillors. Under rules passed by the Labour Party in 2006, all Labour councillors must now make direct debit payments from councillor pay packets to Labour Party funds; the higher the salary, the more money for Labour.
Golden goodbyes - cash handouts will be given to those “who lose office through the action of the electorate”. Labour’s unpopularity in the polls will thus be rewarded with state cash.
State funding for local political parties, tied to meeting state diversity and equality targets. Term limits will also push out popular councillors because they are too ‘old’.
Pensions for all councillors, whilst ordinary pensioners struggle to pay their bills. A press release suggesting pensions for councillors was the ‘bad news’ that disgraced Labour spin doctor, Jo Moore, infamously ‘buried’ following the 9/11 terrorist atrocity.
Propaganda on the rates – via a new ‘Communications Allowance’ for councillors like MPs. Restrictions on political propaganda advertising by local authorities will also be torn up. Only last week, the Taxpayers’ Alliance exposed how the publicity bill has already soared to £450 million a year.
State benefits and dole - letting councillors keep their town hall salaries and still claim benefits, giving a boost to Labour councillors who are unable or unwilling to find a job.
Jobs for the boys - weakening controls on council officers who are also councillors. Such rules were designed to prevent municipal corruption and local civil servants becoming politicised.
Abolishing by-elections, because local democracy is too inconvenient for the electorally-challenged Labour Party.
Three jobs: Requirements to turn up to meetings to vote will be scrapped, but councillors will still be paid in full. This will make it easier for Labour councillors to hold down a day job and a night job at the same time as being a councillor.
Eric Pickles MP, Conservative Shadow Secretary of State for Local Government, said:
“Councillors have a valued role to play in holding town halls to account, and making sure that councils deliver good quality, responsive frontline services. But it is vital that councillors are fundamentally arms-length volunteers - and do not become the bankrolled staff of the town hall dependant on the municipal pay packet. At a time when council tax bills will hit almost £1,400 this April, local residents will be outraged at the prospect of Labour politicians wanting to fleece them even more to bankroll the morally and financially bankrupt Labour Party. These policies are all about more cash being stuffed in the pockets of Labour, jobs for the boys and back-door state funding. Conservatives will fight these plans and stand up for the interests of the local taxpayer.”
Giles McNeill has already blasted the recommendations of the Councillors' Commission:
"The suggestion that councillors should get more perks, benefit from golden goodbyes, fritter away communications allowances and not even have to turn up to council meetings sums up the conceited attitude of the Labour government towards our democratic system."